Big Stuff over Time

audio downloads

Liberia 1

Liberia 2

Liberia 3

help me find a home:

Houses for Sale
in Close Proximity
to BellRoad University


Joe & Sharon's NewlywedPage
joe's space 



joe's archive




a Prisoner


of God


Behind Every
Good Man


The Spirit
and the Bride

lead sheet

of Vanities


Used, Used


Don't Allow Frustration


I Wanna
Be Ready


A New Song

I'm Saved




God Gave Him

in the Lord


In the




Open Door

Give Thanks

Your Worries
into Prayer


The Year of
Our Lord


Jerry at three

a Voice




with Christ


is the man


Some People

You Just Gotta
Get Down





Whatever 2


a Prisoner


of God


Behind Every
Good Man


The Spirit
and the Bride

lead sheet

of Vanities


Used, Used


Don't Allow Frustration


I Wanna
Be Ready


A New Song

I'm Saved




God Gave Him

in the Lord


In the




Open Door

Give Thanks

Your Worries
into Prayer


The Year of
Our Lord


Jerry at three

a Voice




with Christ


is the man


Some People

You Just Gotta
Get Down





Whatever 2



So, we
 fix our eyes

not on what is seen
but on what is unseen. 

For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.

 2 Corinthians 4:18


audio selections

a Prisoner


of God


Behind Every
Good Man


The Spirit
and the Bride

lead sheet

of Vanities


Used, Used


Don't Allow Frustration


I Wanna
Be Ready


A New Song

I'm Saved




God Gave Him

in the Lord


In the




Open Door

Give Thanks

Your Worries
into Prayer


The Year of
Our Lord


Jerry at three

a Voice




with Christ


is the man


Some People

You Just Gotta
Get Down





Whatever 2

a Prisoner


of God


Behind Every
Good Man


The Spirit
and the Bride

lead sheet

of Vanities


Used, Used


Don't Allow Frustration


I Wanna
Be Ready


A New Song

I'm Saved




God Gave Him

in the Lord


In the




Open Door

Give Thanks

Your Worries
into Prayer


The Year of
Our Lord


Jerry at three

a Voice




with Christ


is the man


Some People

You Just Gotta
Get Down





Whatever 2



Thursday, January 31, 2008

 Yesterday, I had a great time filling the God-given role as a 'pastor' in our local Baptist church.

A new couple came in for their First Annual Check-Up with the pastor at BellRoad (me). We established early on that they will enroll in our membership class and join us for the new adventure ahead.

They gave me a packet of "Ten Commandment" bookmarks. I passed them out at prayer meeting and we prayed the Word. Our midweek prayer meeting was very enriching last night. There were eleven of us in attendance.

Of course, there's a 'Power of a Praying Woman' goin' on down the hall...and kids in TeamKID, and youth in their torn-up remodel, and babies in the nursery, Curt preparing for Choir, and Clean up in the Kitchen after the weekly supper...

(yeah, its good to see the House of God open on a Wednesday night)

Now, us old-timers in the circle of prayer chose to pray through the Ten Commandments and it was powerful for us.

By the way, we kinda feel especially involved in anything good that happens or is gonna happen at BellRoad. Why? We are praying. We are acknowledging God and asking Him to direct our steps. We are confessing our sins and asking Him for correction and direction. It's that simple.

Oh, I also spent the evening hours watching Rick Warren's Sunday morning message at the National Cathedral and at the Sunday Forum beforehand.

My friend, John, had sent me some links to negative criticism (and sarcasm) from a couple of 'church watchdogs' (or 'blogdogs' ...I guess they're called). He asked what my current opinion of brother Rick was/is...

I was rather blunt with him in a few notes about my opinions of these people. I'm not a disciple of Rick Warren...but um...yeah, I think we're serving the same Jesus.

Here was the forum (click here). This is basically the same material that Rick delivered to the gathering of 200 pastors when I went to Saddleback last December. Rick's jokes don't get many chuckles from this crowd. was his morning sermon at the National Cathedral (click here). Rick Warren in a suit and a tie, see it for yourself...

I'm not going to link the critics because I don't respect them very much at this point. If you wanna find them, you can google it for yourselves.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The mother of 3 siblings adopted from Liberia wrote to me at 1:00 a.m. this morning. I had mentioned this family in yesterday's blog but hadn't thought that any of the email addresses I could find for them were current. Here is an excerpt from Jen's letter:

You are not going to believe this, but I am pretty sure that my father-in-law was a member of Bell Road for about 4 years until he recently retired (he was in the blue grass group there)! What a small world we live in!

Anyways, we are pretty close - we are just up north on I-5. I would love to go into more details and we would be happy to talk with you and would LOVE to come and share about Liberia, Greater Love Children's Home, Pastor Wesley, and adoption sometime (and I'm sure Dad would like to come along too!).

I was thrilled that the rest of the letter was so warm and trusting. How pleased I am that God has given us the gift of 'close proximity'.

I also heard back from Pakistan this morning. The meetings did happen so I'll have more to say on that someday soon. I don't have freedom to write whatever I'd like because it jeopardizes ministry potential in this situation.

Cathy and I are off and running now. It is 6:20 a.m. Hey, listen to Sunday's Message if you missed it.

Caution: This isn't a 'feel good' message (not that sermons are supposed to feel good...)

Persecution and Proclamation

Maybe next week's message will be more playful:

   "Have You Ever Been Simonized?"  (Acts 8:4-26)

(not that sermon's are supposed to be fun...)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Here's my latest letter from Pastor Wesley:

Hello Pastor Rob,

May I share with you what the Lord has been doing during 2007?

As you can see from the attached photos, we have 2 medical clinics, an FM Radio Station still being constructed located between church and clinic, a guest house still under construction near our house where visitors will stay on short missions' trip, latest family photo of the Wesleys and 5 couples who got married on December 16, 2007 at our church.

Praise God for His excellent greatness!

Pastor Wesley

The Lord hid some direction for me in last Sunday's text until 4:00 a.m. that very morning. I was prompted to make mention of issues facing us again at election time. My primary issue (abortion) seems to be connected with another (definition of marriage). Through the local Body of Christ, I see that the prompting was due to in-depth inquiry into the histories of my co-laborers at Bell Road.

Persecution and Proclamation

That's the sermon. Not much of a 'feel good' message but it is what God delivered through me (in spite of my congestion and tongue-tied moments which have been mostly edited out).

Amazing: Sunday's Message also made mention of this word (amazing). Although it was just spontaneous, illustrative material, it is not a throwaway thought. Today I've chosen to meditate upon the mystery of the words we put together. We sing songs (old and new) that utilizes this modern-sounding word as adjectival preface to both of these BibleStudy words:

Grace: charis

Love:   agape

Grace is used as a noun but, like the word 'Love', I sometimes consider it to be action verb. The Spirit  'graces' me by going beyond my thoughts and imagination in response to the earnest prayers I've heard voiced in prayer meetings.

On Sunday night, in our Experiencing God small group, I referenced one God-sized assignment (Liberia) given to listening Christians over the several years' time.

In December of 2002, our initial contact with Pastor Wesley could not at first be substantiated through web searches. Today, there are a number of adoptive families who have brought some of the Greater Love children to America to grow up among us. Although I haven't met them, I know we have a mutual interest in Pastor Richard and Laura Wesley (and all the kids who have been fed, housed, or educated through the ministries of Greater Love).

I discovered a homeschooler's blog (click here) about one humble ministry family who had adopted three siblings from Pastor Wesley's home. Cathy and I remember this very children. I read in the blog that this family had moved to California. I wonder if they are anywhere near us?

Another blog graces me with a sweet story about these same three kids (click here).

In 2004, Cathy and I worked with photos and prayed for your little guys we see pictured. Then, in 2005, my dear friends, Mike and Robin McCall spent a month there--living right at the Children's Home. In 2006, our son Joe lived with the Wesley family for 80 days.

It is a great blessing for me to read of families who have decided to publicly share what some might have chosen to keep completely private.

Before coming to America, Macdonald Wreh visited Pastor Wesley to take the photos of the children on our behalf. At that time, Pastor Wesley told him that some of the children would not have survived had they not gotten to the Children's Home when they did.

God has brought several other people into the Big Picture since we started. For that, I give Him thanks for loving me and gracing me in such amazing ways.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Yesterday, after church, Pastor Matt handed me a clean, digital recording of the SundayMessage. Cathy worked in the Nursery so she and I listened to the recording during an afternoon drive.

Here is a link to yesterday's message:

   Persecution and Proclamation

Cathy and I are up early and heading to the Gym together before starting going to our respective job sites. I also have an email from one of our recently-baptized members awaiting further thought and action. This correspondence extends a request made at the altar.

Over the next 2 days, I will be watching for emails from Pakistan. I have contacts there who are supposed to meet up with each other. I hope all goes well.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

May His House be a House of Prayer.

Something like 'centripetal force' seems to be happening in the prayer clusters I've recently experienced: Monday Night at the Leadership Council, Sunday afternoons at Bautista Iglesia de Bell Road, Tuesday's pastors' prayer group, Friday mornings with the Deacons.

Last night, Jimmie, Chet, Wolf, Joe, Karla and I had the privilege of welcoming Larry to pray alongside us. We had a sweet hour of prayer. Larry had a special testimony for us. A man who Larry knew through work had been 'visited' by a knock on the door recently. He apparently spoke of a young lady from Bell Road Baptist Church because, from his descrption, Larry figured it must have been Karla.

Karla thought about it with wonder and asked,

    "What country was he from?"

    "El Salvador, I think," Larry responded.

Karla nodded and said she remembered that they had shown great interest (Karla is from Honduras).

Larry said, "He said he was going to go there when it gets started!"

Well, it has started.  Jesse and Elba should be returning from Southern California soon. They were planning to visit my friend, Pastor Francisco Camerana, while they were there.

The first quarter of the Pastor's Annual Check-Up (free, Spirit-led consultations) will be an ongoing process through March, 2008. Cathy came up with this idea and we are having a really fun time with it. I think the Lord will use this idea to establish 'His Health Program' among us.

Write me for more information:

By the way, is under new management.

I received news yesterday that Matt Klein had put his creative genius at work online. I look >>forward>> to seeing what our youthful leader comes up with in the days ahead.

Please send all accolades
   (and complaints...about anything, really) to:

Remember, folks: all rights reserved

  "I don't get it." thought Brother Tom (or Dick) to himself.

  "I don't either!" said Sister Betty (or Jane)
                             --knowing his thoughts.

Sally looked over at Susan and asked, "What's that?"

   "My granddaughter's iPod." answered Susan.

            "Oh, I've heard about those!" added Sally.

   "She can download Sunday's Message on it."

            "Really?  How?!"

    "Go to  and ask for Matt. He's the
         Minister of Youth, Music, and Media over there."

            "My, my. How everything has changed."

     "Not everything." said Susan.

             "How's that?" asked Sally as she pulled out
                                     the GPS from her purse.

     "See Evan run. Funny, funny, Evan." laughed Susan.

     "Little boys running in the church..."
                  laugh the girls, in unison,
                  from one generation to the next.

     "May His House be a House of Prayer,"
                  adds the aging pastor.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

If you haven't had a chance to review last Sunday's Message, click below:

    Calling All Sinners: New Wineskins for Old

Alas, the old wineskin is bursting. Upon my request, Pastor Matt composed an initial theme to be used as our bridge from Proclamation to Movement. Symptomatic of the burst is that you will not hear his commissioned theme on our recording.  Attempting to mix in the music during post-production would an interesting idea except that I broke into a brief melody that coincided with the theme.

Does our Minister of Media have enough George Martin in him to make it work? Yeah, he could do it but I will not commission for that. As you'll see below, my own area-of-focus must be different in this season. I can hardly wait to see what Matt's been sittin' on!

Contentment about the soon-realization of the vision for our own 'local media' allows me to rewind and pause during the following paragraphs:

Yesterday our pastors' prayer meeting went on awhile...(2.25 hours--mostly listening). Of course, we don't share the topics discussed among ourselves and before the Lord. I write about it so I won't forget the timbre of that intimate gathering.

Zooming Out (from the intimate circle), the question asked of each other has given me a milestone to be remembered for the Big Picture. This particular prayer group is one of the reasons God brought me to Auburn.

Likewise, Monday night's Leadership Council (which is 'not' confidential) was an important gathering. Most precious was the encircled, hand-in-hand intercession with which we closed our time together. That gathering had also allowed the Big Hand® to transcend the allotted time (6:30 to 8:20--before our little hands grasped each other's hearts).

Before leaving for Mexico I purposed to adjust my lens (to the 30-60-100-fold setting). The final half of my 50th year should be more reflective than proactive. Plenty of seed from our sack of beans has already been sown during the pre-matt months. Now, we will watch and see how that first season of preparation brings forth the first year's harvest.

Recently someone asked me if I thought we would get picketed again this Easter. Nope...well, not by Luke anyway. I never mentioned that Luke and I had a 'chance' meeting at Sierra College a couple weeks back.

The BoundaryLines for Cathy® and Rob© have truly fallen in pleasant places. Together, we're moving ahead with 2008 annual check-ups (of those who belong to our fellowship--including ourselves). This change of focus could be exactly what the pastor needs to hear more clearly our Father's Plan for our church and family.

 May God bless you (pl) as you read-btwn-theLines©®

Monday, January 21, 2008

For over three years I've written here nearly every single day so to see that I haven't posted since Thursday is a surprise! I'm about to start editing yesterday's sermon so that will be available in a couple hours.

Someday, maybe I'll write a bit about these topics. Pastor Matt teaches that there are eight bits in a byte. I'll probably write more than that.

Deacons' PrayerTime.
A GPS walk around our backyard pond.
Jerry's Window.
Saturday Drive with Joe.
Saturday Night Drive with Mary.
Sunday Headsets.
Spanish Service Ripples.

Today, Cathy will work from 10:00-6:00.
I'm asking Anna Gabbert for prayer support.
At 1:00 I will meet with Kurt about finances.
I told Madeline that I will visit this afternoon.
Tonight is our Leadership Council Meeting.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The reason I haven't been writing much is due to software and hardware issues. Due to Mayberry video storage needs, I had moved my website software onto an external harddrive must be connected to AC. That means any bedside writing (which seems to work well for me) is difficult to do since I also desire adequate lighting (a third outlet). Nothing that an extension cord couldn't solve!

I just had a long talk on the phone with our Associate Pastor Matt Klein. Again, I am so happy that God has called him to serve alongside me (among us). We are planning for a powerful ministry yielded to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Today, I spoke with Rev. Tim Lane from the Union Gospel Mission (Sacramento). He has asked me to speak at Spirit Week (a time of encouragement for all those who are enrolled in their 6 month Drug and Alcohol program). I am honored to have been asked.

Valerie Harris (Auburn's Police Chief) and Bayside's Ray Johnson are among others who have also been invited to bring an encouraging message during Spirit Week. Thank you Tim and Union Gospel Mission for the open door you have extended to us throughout the years.

My SundayMessage is entitled

      "Calling All Sinners! New Wineskins for Old"

Today, it is still thawing and I'm preheating the oven. Gonna butter up this turkey, pat her down with some real butter, and get ready.

     It's THURSDAY...but SUNDAY'S COMIN'....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I had a terrible sinus headache that started at 5:00 a.m. It has really been bothersome throughout the whole day. Jack and I went out on a visitation and the med I had taken for the headache was making me embarrassingly tired.

An old friend from Michigan called tonight. We prayed together and I hope to stay mindful of my brother's need for God's Direction. I suggested that he may wanna listen to one of these recent sermons. When the Word is preached, the message goes out for 'somebody.' Maybe the Lord would speak to him through it.

On Monday night, I called Alexander Plair (son of Pastor Ezell Plair). We had a good conversation. He told me that his Dad (my preaching-style mentor) is now 80 years old. The last time I spoke with Pastor Plair he told me that he isn't preaching much anymore.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I began this morning at 6:15 a.m. My reply to one of our members was sent at 1:58 and I dropped off to sleep within minutes I'm sure. So, today I'll run on a bit less-than-normal sleep but as our Latino friends have said that is what siesta is for. Si, we'll see if there's a siesta along the way.

Somehow (with holiday-shifting of church furniture), our senior-friendly, church clock has been hidden from my view. That fact, along with zeal for the preaching hour (and perhaps the lack of the request for a tinkling music cue) has resulted in two full-length messages (H.O.M.E. and One More for Jesus). Last night, I discovered the close to the H.O.M.E. message on side 2 of Micah's tape. I also digitized the analog of yesterday's tape, so I gave it an initial review and will upload these 'preachable moments' later today.

In the H.O.M.E. message, I mentioned going to Bear Creek's website and seeing something that stirred me up over significant uses of new technology.

Here is a copy of what it was I saw there.

The first ever vocal radio broadcast on December 24, 1906 consisted of a reading from Luke chapter two?

During yesterday's message I alluded to a bit of Baptist History but paraphrased the 'famous' quote and didn't cite the proper names involved. So, I thought I'd share this:

In 1785, William Carey was appointed the schoolmaster for the village of Moulton. He was also invited to pastor the local Baptist church. During this time he read Jonathan Edwards' Account of the Life of the Late David Brainerd and the journals of the explorer James Cook, and became deeply concerned with propagating the Christian Gospel throughout the world.

His friend Andrew Fuller had previously written an influential pamphlet in 1781 titled The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, answering the hyper-Calvinist belief then prevalent in the Baptist churches, that all men were not responsible to believe the Gospel.

At a ministers' meeting in 1786, Carey raised the question of whether it was the duty of all Christians to spread the Gospel throughout the world.

J. R. Ryland
, the father of John Ryland, is said to have retorted:

     (and here's the attributed quote...)

"Young man, sit down;
     when God pleases to convert the heathen,
                he will do it without your aid and mine."

my flawed paraphrase usually goes like this:

"Young man, sit down;
      if God wants to save the heathen,
                he'll do it without your help!"

Upon citing this quote in my early morning letter I read this disclaimer:

"Ryland's son, John Ryland Jr., disputes that his father made this statement."  (wikipedia)

Yesterday, a church Grandma wrote to me from sunny Arizona and says she reads this blog to keep up on stuff (at least from my perspective).

After yesterday morning's message and our time at the altar, we waited until noon for our own local church's Quarterly Business Meeting. Although only 40-some corporate members were in attendance, we had the quorum and we 'did our business'...

     (that sounds funny, huh Grandma?)

Toward the very end of our our Quarterly BM (again, that sounds funny) the issue of separation of church and state arose. Again I let a loose recollection of 'facts' roll off my tongue. Here is something I found in a quick google to substantiate my recollection.

The Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut sent a letter, dated October 7, 1801,
to the newly elected President Thomas Jefferson,
expressing concern over the lack in their state constitution of explicit protection of religious liberty, and against a government establishment of religion.

In their letter to the President, the Danbury Baptists affirmed that "Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty — That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals — That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions - That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor..."

As a religious minority in Connecticut, the Danbury Baptists were concerned that a religious majority might "reproach their chief Magistrate... because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ," thus establishing a state religion at the cost of the liberties of religious minorities.

Thomas Jefferson's response, dated January 1, 1802, concurs with the Danbury Baptists' views on religious liberty, and the accompanying separation of civil government from concerns of religious doctrine and practice.

Jefferson writes: "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."


Sunday, January 13, 2008

After watching an interesting set of interviews with Composer Earle Hagen, I decided to withdraw the public view of the video clips from our Mayberry project until I have had the chance to speak personally with Earle (Lord willing).

I will leave certain scenes on my video page but feel it is best to see if I can get Earle's permission to use his whistling theme song on our tribute video.

(click here to meet Earle Hagen)

I found a phone number for him in Palm Springs, California but it answers with a fax tone. So....I'm gonna try to send him a fax. The video interview with Earle spans 10 clips over four hours. I watched a few of them today. I think it will be helpful to listen to the entire collection.

I did listen to Going Deeper and am still praying about tomorrow's message.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yesterday morning, Wolf, Mike, and I met for early morning prayer. Then, Mike and I sat and talked and prayed over a few important issues facing our precious church family. I shared with Mike how pleased I am to have Pastor Matt on-board. We should be able to move ahead with effective ministry in 2008.

Before I forget, I wanna acknowledge that Alisha sent me a card from Mexico. She thanked me for coming there with her family and for being her pastor. Her note came as a great blessing to me so here I am saying, 'Thanks for the note, Alisha.' By the way, Alisha's brother, Zack, has gone back to his mission field (though we are not as free to discuss what it is he does).

Yesterday, Mary went back to Galt to stay the night with Victoria, and to babysit today for one of her little flocks.
Daniel and Cerissa came to Auburn. We showed them the property over which we are praying. Joe drove to  Rocklin, then to Galt (and back) dealing with paperwork for college and for Sharon's Immigration.

One More for Jesus

(In today's preparation toward Message # 35, I plan to listen to Going Deeper again since this is where we will pick up in Luke 5 tomorrow).

Before I give it a listen, I will share some of today's ideas connected with these same verses.

Jesus had stepped into Peter's circumstances and offered practical direction.

Luke 5:5 Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

Livin' the Lyrics of our favorite songs:

Trust and Obey led to a major change in the circumstance. Even so, one who draws near to holiness will taste of a 6th sense (the Sense of Condemnation: Isaiah 6)

"Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"

Then, the Spirit convicts us of His Righteousness.

"Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men."
So they pulled their boats up on shore,
      left everything and followed him:

Peter, James,
and John 
     that LifeLesson looks easy as 1, 2, 3

  + partners 2 and 3 
(...and their astonished companions) everything and followed him.

This run-through has served as a refresher, so now I'll click on Going Deeper while moving ahead toward the simple outline from which I should preach tomorrow's message: Luke 5:8-27.

Friday, January 11, 2008

On Thursday night, Mary and I finished her orientation at Sierra College. Now all four of our children are simultaneously college students! That fact makes this papa feel really good.

Mary is beginning her formal study of Early Childhood Education with a course called Human Development 1. She also is taking a class in Word Processing. On the first day of classes, she will seek Professor Quinlan's approval to enroll in Child, Family, and Community.

Before going to the Sierra Campus, we visited a mother and newborn child in the hospital. Karen had just completed a course in the local R.O.P. class. Her fellow student, Kim, was also visiting Karen. Kim provided Mary with information about how to enroll there. This way she could work at our nearby hospital or in another local placement to enrich her resume before she finishes her private schooling at EducationPlus.

Here's a note from an old California girl who moved to Michigan a couple years ago.

Hey Rob,

I am stilling reading your blogs and I notice something. You haven't mentioned Joe and his wife for a very long time. Are things going ok with them still, or are there some problems? I am sure being separated by an ocean is very hard. I hope Joe is handling all of it well.

Eva Moore

Yeah, I'd say that Joe is doing quite well. He works at U.S. Bank part-time and at Rosenau Motors on the other days. He lives with Cathy, Mary, and me and chats for hours online with his wife, Sharon, nearly every night.

I did just mention Joe in yesterday's blog as helping me with the music video:

New Meaning to Tomorrow

Sharon's father died last year. She has adopted me as her Daddy and we chat every couple days. Joe has filed papers with the good folks down at U.S. Immigration, so we all are awaiting the day for them to be reunited.

Here's a recent email that Sharon sent to me:


Thanks for sharing to me the Christmas in Mayberry video.
I really enjoyed watching it. I like the scene that sung the song and it showed the lyrics and the effects were nice too. I really like the song as a whole, the music and the message.

"Jesus gave the meaning to tomorrow"

Oh, I like the picture sketch drawings and the slow motion of the camera on that scene.

Also, I was touched about the message of the unconditional love that the boy mentioned to his Dad

Overall production is GREAT!!! The effects, songs, people and message. Thanks Daddy!

Joe has purchased airline tickets to go visit Sharon in February. He has been granted the time-off his jobs. Speaking of Sharon, I saw her online on Thursday night (Friday for her...)

me: hey sharon   how you doing?

sharon:  hi Daddy   I'm doin good

me: I've already written my blog for tomorrow.


me: So, I'll post it when I wake up

sharon: thanks for the song "new meaning to tomorrow"

me: but anyway, I mention you in it

sharon: I have read your blog... I'm now playing the song

me: a friend had written asking how it was going for Joe and You     oh...

sharon:  :D    oh    Joe and I are doing good
                                                   by God's grace

me: how's the day?

sharon: good!  I'm keeping on track with my devotional and writing notes for Joe in a small papers. I enjoyed the article from Focus on the family...

"Bridging the Distance"    I learned from it.

me: hmm

sharon: Oh... I sent him present last Christmas. I just took a picture of it and sent to him

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Last night's prayer meeting was wonderful. Chet Bent is bringing a 'father's teaching' on short, Old Testament stories every Wednesday during the weeks ahead. Chet is ninety years old. He said he figures he can be a father to all of us!

Anhelika was visiting from Honduras and daughter Karla interpreted portions of my introduction to F.A.I.T.H.

We all agreed that God is gonna have to take us step-by-step in order to realize the hope of developing intentionally evangelistic outreach teams who go out consistently on a weekly basis. So....we begin with intentional prayer.

The day started at 6:30. I have converted the Otis music video (new material) from the Mayberry project into a wmv format.

New Meaning to Tomorrow
   (Otis Campbell Music Video)

This music video is only 3:10 so most of you ought to be able to download it regardless of your connection speed.

Jebby wrote the song and they used it as a reflective scene in the Lodi LIVE version. As you may recall, Cathy and I saw the first two shows by the Bear Creek church. During the first show, I clearly recall the desire to make a music video (but I knew how much editing still needed to be done for the second and third reels).

So, I didn't get to create the Otis music video until after I returned from Mexico. I assembled the useable extant Otis clips and asked Joe to begin juxtaposing the visuals with Jebby's song. Joe worked on it for a couple hours then, at the point of weariness, I tag-teamed with him and finished it. I also edited Jebby's song by cutting to the end early so please contact:

    @, if you would like to hear
          'New Meaning to Tomorrow' in its entirety.

While googling to see if the Lodi church had uploaded any of their production of A Mayberry Christmas, I came across a guy named Job who had reprinted an article by Ingrid Schlueter. Ingrid had chosen to publicly critique Jebby's creative work based solely on reading the Lodi News article (with no further research of primary sources).

In fact, her own article reveals that Ingrid didn't spend adequate time with her secondary source before she started writing. Barney tickets who? when?

Her personal website (Slice of Laodicea) apparently serves as a 'watchdog' for the church of Jesus Christ.

You can read Ingrid's article for yourself (click here) and here's the site of her radio program (click here).

Unfortunately, Ingrid linked her article about Jebby's offering with other articles under the headings of abominations and circus church. Personally, I think this is somewhat insensitive (maybe rude, even).

Ingrid Schlueter probably doesn't realize how much her article would hurt the feelings of my beloved friend and brother-in-Christ. She wonders aloud if Jesus shows up anywhere in the Script. Maybe she'll come across this entry and rethink her own style of public 'witness'.

I don't have much 'extra' time to keep watch over these and other self-proclaimed church-watchdogs that I know.

Fortunately, the Risen Lord Jesus isn't wringing his hands bemoaning the fact that His children are sometimes insensitive to each other. He knows that fact and has revealed it in His Word. Therefore, we are called to pray for each other (especially for those who open their mouths to boldly testify).

I offer this wmv to bring some balance to our penchant for negativity in the Body of Christ. For those who seek after redemptive scenes in life, the struggle between Clara and Aunt Bee over religious opinion might be of some help here (see December 24th) in the Mayberry script).

The Mayberry Nativity Scene
   (click here) 

As performed by the Auburn cast, this video clip is 11:19 minutes long and features the voice of Roy Jones (as Sheriff Taylor narrating the Nativity). I opted for the feel of a LIVE, local church Christmas Pageant, so the ambient sounds of babies rustling and elders coughing remain intact.

This clip also features Francie Wirth as Sally Rogers,
KC Jones
as Otis Campbell (in the Santa costume), Jean Harjo as Granny Clampett, and Grace Earl as Miss Jane Hathaway.

Pastor Matt Klein
directed Roy for the audio recording of the narration and provided original piano accompaniment for the track. That's Matt's wife, Justine, playing the role of the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus (played by our own newborn, Aaron Knapp).

I have added closed captioning to make certain LIVE scenes more accessible to the viewer who may have missed important dialogue in the LIVE portion of our program. I also experimented with some special FX for the angel(s) sequence (featuring Jaci Kirk as Clara Edwards and the BellRoad Children's Choir).

Remember, the depth of resolution goes down after converting an avi file into a wmv format (however, it is much quicker to download). For those who are taking the Intro to Computers class at BellRoad University, all of this will start to make more sense. In fact it may even help you better understand SundayMessage and the various formats involved.

"Like applesauce, wmv files download faster".
                                         --pastorob     February, 2008

For the next few sermons, I would like to give the left-brainers some easily-accessible sermons. Therefore, I am starting with this week's message:

One More for Jesus (Luke 5:8-27) May the Holy Spirit give me grace to convert the adventurous right-brain stuff of my last two BellRoad messages (C.O.M.E. - H.O.M.E.) into a format more easily downloaded by those who march to the beat of a ... a 'whiter' drum. We'll see... (or rather, we'll hear).

For several months I have been corresponding with a spiritual descendant of Lottie Moon who is currently in Pakistan. For purposes of security, I'll call him Mr. Bill.
He sent out a letter today to those in America who have sent him there.

    As you may have already heard on the news, there
    was a bomb blast that reported to kill (as of this minute)
    20 people. Yesterday at this same time I was at the
    location of the blast! Not just once but twice I passed the
    exact location where the bomb went off.

    I went to the Bible Society and their office is located
    in a 150 year old building that's less than a quarter of a
    mile from the blast site.

    Not only do we not have electric most of our day,
    but now our gas and water is off
part of the day
    along with this many of our gasoline stations are closed
    for they don't have fuel.

    We've learned to live with little or no electric. How to
    cook around the gas and water problems. Yes, life here
    is difficult. We can't deny that.

May God bless Mr. and Mrs. Bill as they serve the Lord in Pakistan. I was encouraged to hear that our gifts in remembrance of Lottie Moon have already surpassed our Christmas goal.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Yesterday it snowed most of the time we were in Grass Valley getting Mary's assessment to enter Sierra College as academic enrichment (through EducationPlus).

Today, Cathy and I spent the morning working through personal finance issues in preparation for acquiring property in Auburn.

On the international front, we've received long-awaited news from Liberia. Click on this photo to see for yourself.

Tonight, the Wednesday evening meal, TeamKid, and BRU classes continue on our campus.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I slept in until 6:00 this morning. My sleep wasn't restful because an old friend sent me this comment about CHRISTMAS IN MAYBERRY  (1 hr 26 min) last night:

I hope I'm the only one who did not enjoy the   
      production. I felt the dialog was amateurish and
      having a couple of questionable women follow
      up after presenting the 23rd Psalm was in poor taste.

My quick response to John went something like this:

      No need to be sorry. I disagree...
     love ya,

Before I went to bed, I read John's comment to Joe and to Cathy on the phone (she was working an overnight last night). Upon my re-reading of his note, I realized that I had not correctly interpreted John's first sentence.

I thought he had written,

    "I hope I'm not
       the only one who did not enjoy the production..."

Either way, John's feedback causes me to reflect. He lives several hundred miles away from Auburn so he wasn't able to attend the LIVE presentation (Dec. 23rd) of Jebby's script (nor could he have seen the primary source produced LIVE by members of Jebby's own local church).

Had John been there for the public presentation on the 23rd, he could have had the benefit of me stating that I, myself, had concluded that the 'fun girls' scene was steamier than I had intended.

Editing with less-than-sufficient footage for that scene caused me to make some editorial decision which looked quite a bit different on a 4 inch preview monitor at 2:00 a.m. I had to use the same clip several times. For more details on the initial introduction of Daphne and Skippy, please watch the Director's Commentary (if one should surface in the month's ahead).

In fact, I had told Jebby about the difficulty I had trying to rightly represent Daphne and Skippy (especially in a 'church' setting). That reminds me. I think that Jebby's live play was 'funnier' than our filmed version. Another online friend, David pointed out,

    'Well, there's a learning curve involved here...'

For a taste of the difference, check out this bootleg video of the Lodi Cast during their opening song.



John's use of the word 'amateurish' would be better aimed at everything BUT the script.

The dialogue (as written in Jebby's script) is actually carefully aligned with the characters as presented by professional writers (albeit 60's writers) during the eight seasons of the Andy Griffith Show.

If a closed-caption version is ever rendered, then we will reveal Jebby's full script. I think the Auburn Cast did well at getting most of the words correctly.

However, the amateur cameraman was sometimes pushing 'standby' when he thought he was pushing 'record'... (yeah, I hate it when that happens!). Again, the Director's Commentary would probably address the scene where Andy asks Floyd WHY he is staying at the jail or 'whatever-it-is' that Helen says instead of this line:

"Why did Gomer want us to go to the Courthouse?"

I simply did not have the actual words for either scene anywhere on tape.

Now, this brings me to a quick remark after seeing a questionable drama in a church years ago. While visiting a sister church, I clearly remember leaning over to Cathy and whispering,

   "mmm, this would be hard, having a drama team  
           perform something every single week."

I was thinking as a 'pastor' of real church people (and not-a-one-of-them a working professional actor or writer).

And while we are on the topic of amateurish poor taste and inferior production, here are links to my last two sermons. The latest one was poorly recorded on a cassette (tech problems....again). Still, God's Word is there if you don't mind using a fork and knife:

   O Come, O Come  (December 23rd)


   If God's House Becomes Your Home  (January 6th)

I also delivered a message in between these two. On Sunday night, December 30th, I addressed the staff (and staff-family & friends) at Rancho Sordo Mudo. That message was entitled From the First Day until Now.

It dealt with passages from Paul to the church at Philippi. I'll probably wanna write down remembrances from that message before too long.

Now, if you are really hungry, you may wanna check out Pastor Matt Klein as he delivers his first sermon to the good folks up the hill on Bell Road:

   A New Direction  (December 30th)

Any of these messages can be downloaded as an mp3 or for your iPod from the sermonplayer.

Here's another video of related interest. I found it while googling Christmas in Mayberry:
Mayberry at the River
(people we haven't met with a totally-different script)

Click here to watch a 'real' Mayberry Christmas from the first season of the Andy Griffith Show. 

Monday, January 6, 2008

The morning started at 5:00 a.m. I will be leaving soon for the office. I will try to edit and upload my last two sermons sometime today.

Pastor Matt and Justine are on the road, Lord willing, to Utah to visit his sister. I sure enjoy Matt's leadership in our new music ministry. Yesterday's service was helpful to me as I grow in the faith. Below is a link to the latest version of our 2007 Christmas Drama. Certain scenes have had the editing tightened and music added.

Especially enjoyable is Jebby's song for Otis (following his discovery of the Mayor's Bottle at 55:00).

As a busy pastor, it was a challenge to also serve as cameraman (and real-time 'drama coach). Then, serving as Production Assistant, I needed to carefully preserve the myriad video clips gathered during seven scheduled taping sessions.


The days (and nights) before our public presentation were sometimes dominated by assembling, tweaking, editing, reviewing, re-editing, and rendering the extant source materials.

Knowing from the beginning the inherent risk involved, we planned for the need to remain flexible with the idea of adding last-minute changes to the mix of taped and LIVE performance. Therefore, our actors were asked to attend 'in-character' (and in-costume).


Friday, January 4, 2008 
 me: hi friend. how's the day going?
 a friend: Hi Pastor Rob. God is good
 me: AMEN and all the time He is Good...right?
 a friend: Angels sure are breathing heavy today
 me: haha. good way to think about it (heavy winds)
 a friend: How have you been??
 me: I had a slump while in Mexico...
        but that's 'normal' for me
 a friend:
Its been a year since we spoke;
                  thought you no longer loved us.
 me: at least, I kept the LORD in the midst of it...
         but, after a whole year of whirlwind activity,
         I had to leave the family the day after Christmas...
 a friend: Slump??
 me: and go on that mission trip.
         My 'heart' just wasn't in it but I knew it was an
         important thing to do so I stuck with the plan
         Faithful God comes through as usual.
         Lots of GOOD STUFF is coming to the surface now
         and I expect much more in the next month!
        Yep, a new year!
 a friend: In the midst of strife stands God's love.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

We're leaving Mexico in about an hour. I worked through some of the post-production editing of the Mayberry Project (for our Director and for her missionary sister).

It is good to have finished up some of that leftover to-do work. Cathy and I have chatted online nearly everyday while I've been in Mexico (even though the connection was lost several times in each conversation).

The highlights of this trip, for me, have been to observe Luke Everett (the founder's son and current director) of Rancho Sordo Mudo. He is a gracious man of God. It is inspiring to be around him as he tells his father's story and hopes that it motivates others to seek God for their mission in life.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

DeLynn, Jonathan, and Ben gave me a walking tour of Rancho Sordo Mudo this morning. Then, we went on a long hike up into the hills. It is windy and cold here in Baja Mexico today.

Internet is a bit hard to get to here so I probably won't write much until I get back to Auburn.

Pastor Matt is preaching the year-end message. Sorry I won't be there to hear it. I'm bringing a message at the staff church service on Sunday. I was asked to speak from the Book of Philippians.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sittin' at the airport waiting for a flight to San Diego, then off to Mexico with the Rosenaus.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It is Christmas Morning at 6:00 a.m. I've been up for about an hour. I had moved my software for this webpage to an external drive (so I could try to finish editing Mayberry). Therefore, I haven't had ready access to update this page.

Here's the plan: Cathy, Joe, and Mary will come get me around 8:00 a.m. Then, we're driving to Galt to meet with Jerry and Daniel. We will light some candles and have a Christmas Morning Family Service and will give gifts to each other.

At 10:55, there is 'family movie' time at the Lodi Stadium 12 theatre to see National Treasure.

Then, we will have a meal together. Right now, I hope to burn a DVD of the Mayberry project to show Jerry because he missed it.

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will be leaving with the Rosenau family to visit Alisha at Rancho Sordo Mudo.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Last night Cathy and I attended the opening of
'A Mayberry Christmas' at Bear Creek Community Church (in Lodi, CA). We stayed over in Galt and will go to the Saturday Matinee today at 2:00 p.m.

It would bless me immensely if people from BellRoad would make the trip today. Last night's audience was a full house. I am guessing that 500 people were there. It is a new building and my first time in that space.

Click here to read the article in the Lodi News-Sentinel.
The set was wonderful and the acting was 'loud' and 'clear'. It should take 1 hour and 19 minutes to get from our church:

707 Bell Road to the Lodi Show: DIRECTIONS HERE

Afterwards, we will continue to edit for our own version of the original script but I'd like to get to the Union Gospel Mission tonight, if possible. It may be an all-nighter editing session. I had software issues yesterdays so didn't very far on Reel Two.

Our show is Sunday Night at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Last night Cathy and I attended the opening of
'A Mayberry Christmas' at Bear Creek Community Church (in Lodi, CA). We stayed over in Galt and will go to the Saturday Matinee today at 2:00 p.m.

It would bless me immensely if people from BellRoad would make the trip today. Last night's audience was a full house. I am guessing that 500 people were there. It is a new building and my first time in that space.

Click here to read the article in the Lodi News-Sentinel.
The set was wonderful and the acting was 'loud' and 'clear'. It should take 1 hour and 19 minutes to get from our church:

707 Bell Road to the Lodi Show: DIRECTIONS HERE

Afterwards, we will continue to edit for our own version of the original script but I'd like to get to the Union Gospel Mission tonight, if possible. It may be an all-nighter editing session. I had software issues yesterdays so didn't very far on Reel Two.

Our show is Sunday Night at 6:00 p.m.

Friday, December 20, 2007

Too busy to write on Wednesday and Thursday.
Cathy and I are going to Lodi on Friday to catch
Jebby's opening of 'A Mayberry Christmas'...

and I'll continue to edit video for our version of his script (Christmas in Mayberry).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I stayed up until 4:50 a.m. editing scenes for the Auburn presentation of Jebby's original (unreleased and yet-unlicensed) script. I had my work cut out for me because two of the scenes involved human error on the part of the cameraman (me)...

I woke up at 7:30 and am ready to start again. It has been a long time since I've worked on a project with this much zeal (not since the all-nighters of school days).

Yesterday, Jebby affirmed that we are placing a note in a bottle, and launching it into the sea, in hopes that Mr. Griffith will somehow receive it. We hope that he will be blessed by the impact that his own creativity had us.

We both still remember a memorable Pop-HistoryTalkin which we discussed how Dick Van Dyke sought out and found Stan Laurel. Likewise, George Harrison eventually met Carl Perkins (even Keaggy jammed with McCartney after a wedding). There's nothing new under the sun. It's fitting to pay tribute to the most-important influences in one's life.

About the IP Attorney who started the public comment about acquiring proper licensing, she's right. We have no problem with rendering unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar (and, as I said, 'paying tribute' where 'tribute is due').

I'm gonna invite Ms. IP Atty to help me facilitate our own small-townspeople(s) to empower Jebby with the means to formally 'publish' his unique tribute to The Andy Griffith Show.

Click here to read the article in the Lodi News-Sentinel.

Yesterday, my ol' friend, Ross Farrow, ace reporter from the Lodi News-Sentinel tipped me off about a storm a-brewin' on the Internet over Jebby's Script

There is a 100 word limit to the comment section of Mr. Farrow's story. I submitted an abridged comment as a 2-parter.

Through the years, I've thought long and hard about the popular culture which 'raised' this motherless child. A myriad of legal opinions about subjective laws and the registration of ideas certainly abound.

If anyone wants to discuss their ideas with me, I would like to invite you to travel to Liberia with Cathy and me in February, 2008. The long and arduous trip will give us plenty of time to discuss the nature of creativity. In the meantime, I'm still editing visuals as I reconcile my own upbringing by CBS and NBC during the sixties. Our old Sylvania only picked up two channels! So, my 'depression-era' consisted of walking to school in the snow and not being able to engage in conversations about Star Trek or the Addams Family.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It is 3:06 a.m. as I start this day. I just turned on the light (1/2 light); Cathy is asleep still. The wireless laptop put us to sleep listening to the Message from yesterday morning (
Reconciling Joseph(s) ). As soon as I finish this entry, I must get started on the final creative stretch of the Mayberry Project.

Here's the plan as I see it:

1) Scene by scene, Lord willing, I shall edit the remaining video footage we shot during the last month. Hopefully, there will be no unforeseen emergencies to draw my attention away from this most-important task.

2) On Tuesday, Cathy is scheduled to teach in Galt. She wonders whether I'll go down for the day with her. I don't think so, I'm sure that my nose will still be in the screen working on assembling scenes. I would like to be 'done' with editing the video by Wednesday afternoon so that we'll be able to make final decisions about the 'flow' of events on Sunday night before our Dress Rehearsal.

3) Dress Rehearsal of the LIVE portion for the production takes place on Wednesday night. There's an audio sequence that needs to be dubbed with Auburn Andy's voice. Roy Jones doesn't yet know that our Director, Patrice Rosenau, has made this request. I told her that I'd do my best. Patrice, Zack, and Robin are gonna work out the staging on Tuesday.

Lodi's Dress Rehearsal of the entire production will also take place Wednesday night.

4) We had a screening of the Psalm 23 scene in church yesterday morning. Even using the wmv file on the sanctuary wall, the picture quality seemed adequate for our performance.
  Scene one   (7 minutes)

I had really wanted to have our big-screen installed by this time but its not the first time I've had to say,
     "Well, we tried..."

5) Thursday and Friday we will try to figure out how best to assemble the complete black and white video in three acts. I will need professional counsel for this as I don't have much experience (other than VBS family night video shows) with church-budget video/computer equipment(nearly non-existent in my own experience).

6) On Friday night, Cathy and I plan to get a room in Lodi or Stockton and attend the opening of 'A Mayberry Christmas' at Bear Creek Community Church (Lodi, CA). We also want to attend the Saturday Matinee. Then, we wil meet up with our folks at the Union Gospel Mission is Sacramento on Saturday night before returning to Auburn.

7) My sermon on this 4th Sunday of Advent will be on Stephen's testimony where he speaks about Moses. Today, I will also try to decide upon my key passages from Luke and Romans to accompany the Acts 7 passage. This way, I can marinate the meat of next Sunday's Message while I work on Mayberry editing.

Well, we've put it 'in the budget' for 2008. We'll vote on that budget Sunday after morning church.

Master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock stated that all the fun ended after the final storyboard had been assembled. With actual shooting his projects then became 'work'. For me (on this project), the fun begins now.

It was definitely 'work' trying to set up camera angles (almost all single camera shoots), adequate lighting, and help well-intentioned, non-seasoned performers have the confidence to give us 'character' for the camera. Yeah, that was stressful. However, I think we shot more than enough footage to have some fun editing.

Unfortunately, this laptop is the best I have to work from. Even though we now have a Music-Media & Youth Guy he informed me that he is gonna stay in his pajamas the entire day today!

Well, months ago, I warned Pastor Matt that he'd have a hard time keeping up with me. Like Sarah, he laughed.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It is now 6:30 a.m. and I am nearly ready to head out for the morning. Today is our 23rd anniversary. Cathy and I are gonna celebrate by getting a cup of Java City coffee at the Valero Station. We will see if we can set some Mayberry tickets at the counter.

During my tubtime scripture reading and meditation, I made some plans for Cathy and me. She has told me several times that she will go wherever I feel we should go.

Just weeks before the Search Team from Auburn discovered us (in Galt), I had asked Cathy to seriously consider flying to Liberia to stay for six months as a teacher at the Greater Love Children's School (part of Pastor Wesley's outreach plans). At that time, there were 100 children in attendance with just five or six teachers.

Shortly after Cathy said, 'yes and amen' to my idea, her father was hospitalized and we learned that his death was imminent. Then, Auburn happened. Still, I want Cathy to have the opportunity to see what our initial investment in Liberia has blossomed into. Therefore, Lord willing, that's what we will do in the early part of 2008.

Below is a 'report page' of videos that I have posted on google. One of the videos is entitled "Timeline in Liberia".

If you would like to see it,

     click here, then look for 'timeline in Liberia'.

You can also find all the Mayberry Project clips that I have posted up to this point.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

me: wanna see an artsy mayberry clip?

click here for scene 7

Its got some digital noise...but it may be OK as is...
    or I'll go re-edit it
but there is an essence to it

Last night the choir performed tremendously. If you missed it, please come to watch their final performance this Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m.

Up pops David Burkhardt, the grandfather likened to Abraham in last Sunday's Message.

David: How did program go last evening?

great! I really missed Diana...
but she would have been so proud of her soloists!

David: Well you know, babies just don't cooperate the way we would like sometimes. We're going up this afternoon and taking dinner.

me: Hannah was FRONT ROW
smiles and movement, great confidence...
compared to last year

David: ...thanks to New America Singers

me: yeah

me: She has made some good connections with some of the new faces this way.

David: Any news on Sharon? Thanks for the video link...I've already looked at one of them.

How long will the film be?

me: Joe wants to go to the philippines
but his new job just told him 'no'

the filmed portions should be one hour total
with live pageantry in the mix

I'll have more than enough footage

but can't cut too much without interfering with the storyline...

so, it is all a bit iffy still...
but...I'm sure glad we plowed ahead and

I didn't realize that there would be the live element. I'm going to try to bring my Creative Arts Director up for the event.

me: yeah, the Nativity will be pantomimed in costume to the Andy voice narratin' the Story in his country style

I saw it staged by the cast in Lodi
it works quite well

and should make it feel better watching our filmed scenes

as you see costumed people around in preparation for the big scene ahead

it is all being done LIVE in Lodi

we're gonna go see their Saturday matinee

they have a show friday night, a saturday matinee, and a saturday night

then Jebby is planning to come to our on Sunday night

May I use this chat for my blog?

David: Yes, no problem.

me: g2g to ready myself for a funeral in a few...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Our Choir is doing a good job in rehearsal all week for tonight's show at 7:00 p.m. Both Cathy and Joe are in the Choir this year. Mary's primary role has been watching the little ones in the Nursery.

Mary and I brought the little ones (Evan, Isaiah, David, Peter, and Joshua) into the sanctuary to practice sitting and watching a Choir presentation. Yes, we were outnumbered by these energetic children but felt the call of God to give these guys some 'culture'.

This is the first time I haven't joined a Choir for Christmas. However, it has been a good move. With everything else going on, I am happy to not have had to add all the rehearsal and memorization required.

Pastor Matt and I had lunch together yesterday at the
A Towne Sandwich Shoppe. We further discussed plans for presenting a musical passion play for Easter, 2008.

I'm about to leave for Friday morning prayer meeting with the deacons. Tonight, Daniel is coming to Auburn. He is an experienced Video Editor so he plans to help me knock out a majority of the scenes we've captured for Christmas in Mayberry.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

mmm...mmm.....mmmm, the aroma of this StoneSoup® is startin' to really stir up the townspeople.

CLICK HERE   to see
what I mean.
(this link may take a moment to buffer
                so may it be a kairos-moment).

One might ask, "what's Andy and Barney got to do with StoneSoup®?"

"You'll see . . ."
(with Barney Fife melodic expectation), you'll see."

Our Gomer, Tom Ronk has now familiarized himself with Jebby's entire script and is acknowledging the giftedness of my VisionWalk partner.

You may remember Tom Ronk. He had made this impression (click here) upon my imagination during an early Sunday morning at BellRoad.

Pastor Matt (our new Music-Media & Youth Guy) has likened his initiatory weeks among us as hoppin' a moving train.

That's right, Matt. Look around--you're on none other than the BellRoadExpress (and it is very likely that we're goin' somewhere real special by the end of 2008).

That's on-the-inside for a certain local gathering of less than 500.

It was just Jimmie, Joe, Jack (and Jesus) for prayer meeting last night but we said "yes", by the Spirit, we said it (yes and amen) to the glory of God (click here) but seriously don't forget to
       CLICK HERE   to see what I meant earlier.
(remember, this link may take a moment to buffer
         so may it be yet another kairos-moment).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December 24th (scene 12) in Mayberry...(click here)

Today, I am meditating upon next Sunday's Message:

Reconciling Joseph(s)

Acts 7:9-16 (Genesis 37-46)
Luke 1:76-79  (Matthew 1:19-21)
Romans  5:8-11

Well, that's a chunk of meat to chew on as I ready myself to put a Sunday meal in the oven. So, anyone who wants to read along, feel free to drop me an email with your insights.

I dropped Joe off at the Park & Ride at 6:30 a.m. and passed on the money to pay Wolfgang for my plane ticket to San Diego right after Christmas. Lord willing, I will join the Rosenaus for a mission trip to Rancho Sordo Mudo for the last few days in December.

Then, I wrote Pastor Shamas (Pakistan) a note. He has been good about writing me regularly and sending many, many photographs of the people among whom he ministers. I have made another contact in Pakistan and have tried to help connect these two brothers as a form of mutual accountability.

Yesterday, Mary and I stopped by the hospital to visit our newest baby: Aaron Jeffrey Knapp. He is beautiful. I remarked that Mother didn't show any sign of being battle-weary; she was as glowing as ever. I told both parents that the Knapp Blessing(s) was/were-is/are-will be mentioned in the Message they missed:

Jacob's Altar

Mary also finished the biography of Keith Green last night. She read some of it aloud for me in the afternoon. Today, she is gonna spend the day helping Hannah care for her little brothers in preparation of the baby coming home.

It is entitled 'No Compromise' (click here)

My last conversation from yesterday
     went something-like-this.

11:40 PM

Matt: Good evening

me: hey bud
        Is your lady still awake?

Matt: yes

me: I am uploading one of her scenes
        It's at about 22 percent

Matt: oh... very cool... that will be fun to watch

me: As soon as this is uploaded, I'll send you the link
        We're gonna watch an episode of Mayberry now...

Matt: cool

me: the video is at 32%
        so a few minutes more...
        we shot two important scenes over tonight
        it will help...

Matt: how did that go

me: better

Matt: good

11:44 PM me: but, yeah, it will be lots of editing...
but it should be OK    41 %   now

Matt: cool

me: 55%

Matt: oh... I'll be up... trust me

me: tell her its the overlapping voices scene

Matt: ok

11:47 PM
me: Mary's says "Justine is sooo cute in this scene"

Matt: sweet

me: there's a spot where her eyes shoot up (searching for her next line)...but it is a keeper because Barney's eyes are moving around too...
so, its visually interesting
11:48 PM ....and there wasn't an overall take that was any better...

Matt: awesome

me: kinda hard working on the equipment I have...

Matt: first of the year I wanna push to get you something better

me: I'd like to set up some place with adequate equipment to do this sort of thing.
so, in your prayers, please remember this.
11:49 PM Matt: will do... i'm with you on that

me: God could always choose to 'bless' us
         in some big way in this arena
        The esprit de corp that has been built
        through this project is gonna be a lasting
        investment as well.

11:50 PM

Although there weren't 'parts' for lots of actors, the ones who have been used come from a wide variety of 'groups' within the church...
so as far as a 'whole-church' feel-good, this will be one!


I just don't wanna be embarrassed at bringing
        in the outside public to see it.

       Auburn has a thriving artistic-theatrical crowd

       It'd be cool if some of them would get connected
       with us



11:52 PM

me: oops...that wasn't uploading..only rendering...
        now I've gotta upload it

11:53 PM

Matt: really... haha

me: it shouldn't be very long...not that big of a file

Matt: like i said... i'm up :)

11:57 PM

me: 15 MB for the file

Matt: nice

me: click here

11:58 PM

it will take awhile...just check it in what?
7 minutes? maybe?

14 minutes

12:13 AM

me: here it is

that is the correct link

me: it's up now...

Matt: I'm a watchin'

me: I wasn't the cameraman

Matt: watchin

12:16 AM

Are you going to add sound effects to this?

12 minutes

(the Pattersons were watching
       'The Rehabilitation of Otis' during this time....)

12:28 AM

me: Gotta think on the scene in context

12:29 AM

Matt: ah

me: just needed to get this much done for now

Matt: got it... very good

me: mayberry never had a scene quite like that...

Matt: true

me: it is a psycho-drama piece...

Matt: very contemporary

me: so it might serve its purpose better without laughs...

12:30 AM

maybe some music though

and a fade-in, fade-out music theme
I'll have to wait to see what is on either side of it...
well I'm goin' to bed now

Matt: bye

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cathy woke me up at 5:00 a.m. this morning. We have been having a Kaironversation. It is now 6:07; Cathy just brought me a coffee and we're gonna read her PRISM material.

One word from her study leapt off the page, in light of the logos-rhema from yesterday's editing session:

Energy: In the sermon (Jacob's Altar) this word is applied (chosen over another word...'wild') in reference to all the little guys in our church family. I see how 'energy' is a good word in reference to these precious boys. On the adult level, new energy (daily manna) and excitement (hope) applied to the process of transformation is a gift from God.

Recently I watched Dennis-the-Menace with Mary and Daniel. Apparently they had really liked it as kids. Funny, today...for the first time, I find myself identifying with good, ol' Mr. Wilson (hmm...)

Last night I experimented with this promo: click here

So happy to hear the news that Aaron Jeffrey Knapp has provided his parents with an awesome kairos moment just before 5:00 p.m. on Monday night.

21 inches long and weighing in at 9lb. 6oz., this special baby (as well as his brothers and grandfather) is(are) referenced in Sunday's Message:

Jacob's Altar

Monday, December 10, 2007

We had been at 'the church' from 8:00 until 4:30. After our morning service, of course, I went to Iglesia Bautista de Bell Road. After our worship time and songs by a visiting la Rancho band, we heard a bit of Pastor Francisco's message, then we were encircled in a hopeful prayer toward the launch of this important ministry. The individuals who have been meeting each week seem to be called by God for this work. I told them from the depth of my heart, that there is no place I'd rather be at that time each week. God will bring the Increase.

Cathy and Joe were in Choir Rehearsal from 1:00 to 4:00 and Mary helped Jeane Harjo watch over all the little ones from 11:30 through all of us Pattersons needed a break. Cathy and I went for a long, long walk while Joe and Mary napped.

Afterwards Joe, Mary, Cathy, and I had dinner in downtown Auburn (something we rarely do). I struck up a conversation with the family seated next to us and shared one of the new invitational tickets to 'Christmas in Mayberry'.

We then went to the Old State Theatre to see a movie the girls wanted to see: August Rush.

This morning, Lord willing, I will edit the sermon from yesterday and upload it before noon.

Here's a note from my dear friend, Greg Brayton (that blind guy who is responsible for all the guitars and production in my online songs). He has been in the classroom of suffering:

I go tomorrow for another Ctscann
   to see how the new medicine is working.

I should find out on Friday. The last couple weeks haven’t been the nicest for me. I haven’t felt real good physically and that’s dragged me down a little, but I know with your prayers, I’ll get through the hard times.

I hope we get some good news on Friday and

I’m just
asking you to pray the same way
   if you have the time during the next week.

I’ll write more after Friday I’m sure. Especially if the news is as good as I hope. I pray that The Lord will bless you were ever you have need. I hope to be back in touch, real soon.

Lord, I pray for Greg, and ask that you sustain Him
by Your Grace in this very hour.

O, Holy Spirit fill my brother with Joy Unspeakable and Peace Unsurpassable.

Hope, Lord, give us true hope.

In Jesus' Name, I pray,

Sunday, December 9, 2007

hot off the press: 7:25 a.m. 

Here is a PDF of the sermon outline (click here)

It is now 5:15 a.m. After restfully meditating upon the Lord's goodness to me (and praying a heartfelt prayer for my sleeping companion... you know, her name's Cathy...), I decided to get up and put together a sermon outline for the Sunday Bulletin. So, I'll get to that...but first, I just gotta record some of last night's events.

We shot video footage of the Mayberry Project from 10:00 until 2:30 yesterday (see yesterday's entry). Then, we went home to back-up the video files onto an external harddrive. Mary was at an all-day CPR Certification seminar and we knew, upon her arrival home, she would be putting on a sleek dress with high-heels, make-up, and planning to go back to Galt for the Winter Ball. She had already arranged for Cerissa to fix her hair before she would leave.

During the time awaiting for the grand arrival of our high-maintenance teenager, I began to develop a bit of a headache...and my body was still aching from a slip-and-crash I endured two days before. Still, I decided that it was up to me to make the 60 minute drive to Galt in order for Mary to attend the Black-and-White High School event.
This would mean that I would have about 5 hours to 'work on my sermon' before the midnight hour when I would pick up my girl and head back to Auburn.

"Go south down the Galt"

On the way down, I turned on the overhead light and had Mary read aloud for me. She started in Genesis 12 and, during the next hour, worked her way through Genesis 18 (with a few interruptions so that Daddy could preach-n-teach).

Once in Galt, we turned the corner of A Street and Palin Avenue (toward the boyfriend's house) and noticed a full parking lot at First Baptist Church of Galt. It was a few minutes before looked like it was the annual Christmas pageant. So, after dropping off the top student at EducationPlus, I walked into the local church where I had served from 1996 to 2006 and sat down next to Mike McCall.

It was a wonderful program! I really enjoyed seeing and hearing the story of Baby Jesus afresh.

Afterwards, I ran by our house to touch base with my son, Jeremiah, and then drove out to the home of Eli and Barbara Tavarez. Elias Jr. (from Michigan) was visiting so I was really blessed to sit at the table, eat authentic Mexican food, and do more oral research for this upcoming sermon: Jacob's Altar. We talked over the situation we have shared in the nation of Pakistan (and rehearsed church history from the seventies....before my time).

I stayed there until about 11:00, got a cup of coffee and waited in the car, reading the Word, until Mary's formal evening came to an end. I picked her up at 11:53 and she read aloud for me from Genesis 27:1-32:32

We arrived in Auburn around 1:10 a.m. Once safely tucked into the Nest, I read through the night Jacob wrestled with God and then met his estranged brother face-to-face. 20 years of alienation came to a close as Esau through his arms around Jacob's neck.

  (read it for yourself, click here)

Hey, CONGRATULATIONS are in order for David Burkhardt. Sometime yesterday (last night or this morning), his most recent grandson should have been born!

Oh yeah, I suppose that Mama Diana and Papa Bob ought also to get some acknowledgement too.

HEY...GOD BLESS you guys!

It is now 5:48 and I've really gotta get going on the sermonic bulletin insert I envisioned an hour ago.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Here is another clip assembled in a crowded courtroom. There's a whole lot more people in that little room than you can see at the moment:  click here

Friday, December 7, 2007

This is how I spent Friday night. It has been an interesting experience trying to get together everybody at the right time. Just for some 'laughs'...

 CLICK HERE for a quick video

    (dedicated to my VisionWalk buddy, Jebby)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Dad called me yesterday. I had him speak with his granddaughter, Mary, as we were driving to Galt. In Galt, Cathy worked a partial day at an elementary school and I took our three younger kids out to breakfast.

I needed to meet with Kristy (a friend who shot video for us on Sunday night). That project is starting to weigh heavier on me. That's OK though. The Lord is with me continually reminding me to get 'filled up.' That is what I intend to do through this month by God's grace.

We were privileged to have Mary (a visitor from out-state) at our Prayer Meeting last night. Although there were only five of us in the circle of intercession, we shared a powerful time together before the Lord.

Mary told me that I looked 'tired'. I told the folks that I've been trying not to ignore people when they make mention of 'rest'...

I'm going to work from home on my message for Sunday:

Jacob's Altar

Acts 7:8-9 (Genesis 28:10-22)
Romans 5:6-8
Luke 1:54-55

So far we have Paul (15) and Punk Rock Lisa (?) scheduled to be baptized on Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Several us of went out to Jaci's house last night to tape scenes from A Mayberry Christmas. We received a call from the media asking for details so I sent this background information and figured you all might enjoy reading it:

Members at Bell Road Baptist Church have been busy preparing to bring our community a special Christmas event: Christmas in Mayberry . A multi-media production, Christmas in Mayberry, will be presented on Sunday, December 23rd, at 6:00 p.m. in our church sanctuary.

Why would a church produce a Christmas play based on a television show from the early sixties? My good friend, Jebby Moates, an accomplished composer and recording artist, wrote this play and is simultaneously producing it at Bear Creek Community Church in Lodi, California (where he serves as the Pastor of Worship).
Click here for the performance information for the Lodi Show.

In a recent church newsletter, the playwright discusses his current project:

  "The Andy Griffith show has been playing non-stop since it first aired in the early sixties and is popular world-wide. I believe that people like me love the show because we identify with many of the characters and deep-down long for a simple life surrounded by friends and family. Mayberry is a fictitious town in North Carolina, based on Andy Griffith's home town, Mount Airy.

   Mayberry is such a small town that there's only need for two law-enforcement officers, one barber, one grocery store, one gas station, one department store, one movie theater, one telephone operator, one diner, one pharmacy, one doctor and one church. Every citizen in Mayberry knows each other, accepts and loves each other, quirks and all. Hmmmmm, sounds like the very thing we're striving for in the Church.

   I like to tell people that Andy Griffith's character, Sheriff Andy Taylor is one of my role models. Sheriff Taylor seems to bring out the best in the people around him. I love how he protects his bumbling deputy, Barney Fife from ridicule, and creatively finds ways to encourage Barney's critics to appreciate Barney as a person.

There's also a good lesson in how Andy Taylor shows love and respect to all his eccentric and high-maintenance friends like, Floyd, Gomer, Otis, Goober, Howard and Clara. Most of all, it's great to watch a television show that depicts a caring father raising his son to be a moral, polite, responsible young man.

Andy Taylor is not perfect; he often must apologize to people he has offended. For me, the most moving episodes, are the ones where Andy has heart to heart talks with his son, Opie.

It's interesting to note that Andy Griffith originally had plans to be a minister before becoming an actor. Each episode of the Andy Griffith Show has a moral, and good always triumphs over evil. The Andy Griffith show is the only sitcom, I can think of, where hymns are sung by the characters. Sinners Lose Their Guilty Stains, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms and Away in the Manger have been featured on the show. There is even an Andy Griffith Show Bible study available; a friend of mine used it at his church recently.

In the play, A Mayberry Christmas, the citizens prepare for the town Christmas Pageant, a live Nativity Scene. As the story unfolds, different characters lose sight of the reason for the season; tempers flair and things get out of hand. However, when the message of Christ is presented during the pageant, the characters are reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, and their hearts are moved by the Gospel Story.

I suppose A Mayberry Christmas is also a tribute to a special television show. I have always admired the lovable characters, fine storytelling and exceptional humor of the Andy Griffith Show.

I'm excited about working with our wonderful cast and doing this Christmas play that has some very funny moments. But it's so much more than that; it's an opportunity to direct everyone's attention to the most important story, the story of how Jesus Christ came to earth to save us all!"

              --Pastor Jebby Moates, December, 2007


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Here is Sunday's Message:

The Friend(s) of God: click here

There will be some variance in the amplitude of the signal because apparently when I set out to shoutin' somebody figured they needed to turn it down.

I'll have to tell our audio people that I don't mind distortion when the preacher is yelling. I want the normal voice to be the prime level and allow distortion at the high moments.

Kinda like leaving the feedback at the intro to "I Feel Fine", I learned this technique in the country church of my early days.

It is 2:39 a.m. and I'm up because Cathy arose for some reason. I was thoroughly I asked 'mama' for a glass of water.

Sitting up, sipping that which truly quenches, I have been thinking over last night's prayer meeting with our deacons. I won't go into detail but will share that 'the elders' had been called upon to pray over an individual for an important health concern.

Since I had picked up Joe from work, he had to wait for me in my office during my meeting with the deacons and our prayer for healing. From 6:40 until 8:15, Joe did some intern work for BellRoad Radio by editing out empty space in Sunday's Message: The Friend(s) of God. In addition to and-um...s, this empty space happens whenever the preacher asks the people to 'turn to' any passage of the Bible. Edited out by radio ministries, it results in a shorter 'message' and is almost a necessity for an audio-only transmission.

Well, poor ol' Joe lost all of his work when the operating system unexpectedly needed to 'shut down'. I knew that simply meant that my message would be in the same shape as it was when I left to pick him up 3 hours earlier.

For some reason this reminds me of 'Experiencing God'.
Blackaby (my loose paraphrase) said, "If you ever lose your way, go back to that place where you last heard from God. Ask yourself (or Him) if you ever left anything undone about the direction given at that time."

I should try to go back to sleep (yet I am wide awake)... for I have many expectations to meet on Tuesday. I guess I went to bed before 11:00 as evidenced below:

9:31 PM
pastor matt:
You there?

me: yup

pastor matt: Is it "A Mayberry Christmas"
                        or "A Christmas in Mayberry?"

me: Christmas in Mayberry
         That's all.

pastor matt: got it

me: that's MY title
        Lodi's title is "A Mayberry Christmas"
        Shouldn't you be offline and lovin' on your wife?

        Ordering avon...or somethin'?

pastor matt: I would but my boss asked me
                        to update the webpage...


9:34 PM

a simple 'under new, anointed leadership'
                        announcement page would suffice

pastor matt: I'm a workin on it boss ;)

me: alrightee. I'll send you a couple action shots
        of Auburn Barney and Andy

pastor matt: k

me: in a minute

pastor matt: I don't have my flyer on me...
                        what are the dates again
                        I should know this by now...

9:37 PM

Christmas in Mayberry

pastor matt: yes sir

me: Sunday, December 23rd
        6:00 PM

pastor matt: at 6 or 7?

me: 6:00

pastor matt: thank you sir

9:38 PM

me: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service starts at 7:00
         but it will be shorter

1 hour

11:02 PM

pastor matt: are you there?

(No, I wasn't there. I had fallen asleep trying to watch a commentary by Jerry Seinfeld about the rapid pace that their creative team had to keep in order to go from 'episode idea' to final taping...week-after-week.)

I need to be alert for this full day with starts with BSF and ends with a one-man shooting of important scenes for 'Christmas in Mayberry).

It is now 3:15 a.m.  Back to layin' down for some sleep.

It is now 3:15 a.m.  Back to layin' down for some sleep.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Cathy and I got home from 'church' around midnight. We hadn't had supper yet so we drove to the Newcastle Denny's (not knowing any other midnight spots around town).

I'm not even saying, 'Whew!'...

I had just experienced a very full weekend but was refreshed--having gotten through the evening's taping of several important Mayberry scenes.

Church went well during the morning. On Saturday night we had put up our new glossy placards for the BellRoad Express (and our large Mayberry posters). Then, of course, with the Christmas-decorative makeover in our sanctuary space, the children were excited.zz

The music was good. The preachin' .... well, we'll hear later today whenever I get a chance to edit and upload the sermon. (I dropped Joe off at 6:30 a.m., am currently at the office waiting to open up for BSF Leadership, and then am meeting Aunt Bee and Clara for some location shots in Downtown Auburn.

Our Spanish Service workers joyfully received some first-time visitors: Clyde, Faye, and Alisha.

g2g   or   maybe these days,
more realistically, I oughtta say,   g2g2

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I think I went to bed at 11:00 but I woke up at 2:00 a.m. so I answered a couple emails and started working again on my sermon outline.

I am settled on this outline for Friend(s) of God:


It is now 4:50 a.m. the sermon is still in the oven.

I figure I'll go back to sleep until 6:00 a.m.

Yesterday was a pletha of relational cooperation including (but not limited to) the men's breakfast, decorating the sanctuary, creating BellRoad signage, entertaining angels from Oklahoma by hosting atop the BellRoadVista, sharing the Downtown-OldTown walking tour, and experiencing the Festival of the Lights in Downtown Auburn with Kurt and Christy.

Here's a chat from last night for more background on a chapter (sermon prep) in my yet un-published *yet un-written trans-doctoral dissertation:

    A Theology of Integrity

8:32 PM

me: Tomorrow is gonna be WONDERFUL
Everyone's gonna be buzzing with excitement

pastor matt:
Indeed.... I'm looking forward to Monday

me: whats on monday?

pastor matt: The "Screen" Dream! Monday 1pm

me: yeah that'll be GOOD, I hope!

pastor matt: It will. Check your e-mail...
I'll send you a few skies...
Tell me which one you like the best

8:38 PM

I like stars2 better

click here    and go through the pages

here's some cool ones too

click here   God of Wonders could use these

me: please keep me in prayer ALL thru until the sermon
cuz, although, I have made some decisions about what to do. I have no real clear-cut directive from the Lord YET

...and then, there's the risk of preaching too long.

So, some definitive limitation of a MAIN point would be helpful I've just been attending to lots of other important stuff. Its all good.

I trust that by being fully yielded tonight and tomorrow that
we could have the very BEST God wants for us...

See, one of my points from the Day of Pentecost (vital to a series which includes ACTS)

pastor matt: I'm back...
      let me catch up and read what you typed :)

me: is that Peter didn't 'prepare' a sermon that day
He stood, opened his mouth, and God made him wax prophetic...

"This is that...."

Modern Christians don't like to trust the Holy Ghost to do that for us....

pastor matt: this is true

me: we seem to want 'Charles Stanley'
        and that's good too....

So, I just wanna strike a cool balance of preparation
and spontaneity

pastor matt: Maybe we should have "Drive-through" 
                        Church for today's busy christian

me: that will make a funny video skit for our
        NEW-SCREEN days ahead...
        We can set up a drive through around the church...
where the driver orders sermon CDs from recent weeks

pastor matt: "Yes I would like some Paul with a small side of Jesus to go please"

me: and a donut and a coffee
        it could be some tongue-in-cheek
        poking at BellRoad Radio... CDs and DVDs

8:49 PM

me: Well, I'd better stop this kinda talk and get to my
        sermon prep

postscript: It's 4:50 a.m. I'm goin' back to bed...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Up at 5:30 with a congestion-headache. Sweet Cathy already brought me some medicine, so hopefully it will go away. Today, I will work on the message entitled The Friend(s) of God.

So far, I have selected too much material to cover Tomorrow we will also feature Lottie Moon, Candles of Advent, and a two special song interpretations, so there will be need to be some deep thought and a morning-bath meditation to get started today.

Click here to see my notes (4 sides) for

  The Friend(s) of God

There is a men's breakfast today at 8:00; Daniel is going to come with me, I think. I took Joe to Sacramento last night so he could meet up with the New America Singers who are serving a musical message at Camp Pendleton (in San Diego) tonight. He will travel back here tomorrow.

Cathy and I look forward to meeting Andy and Becky Deck who have traveled here from Oklahoma to run the Folsom-to-Sacramento marathon.

Friday, November 31, 2007

Up at 3:00 this morning. I am wide awake. No email in my box but much work-to-do yet-undone.

Whenever I have been overseas on a mission trip, I have also been awake at 3:00 a.m. It is a fact-of-life for me when I am on a short-term mission trip. It is definitely not worry, fear, or anxiety which awakens me and escorts my body from the bed to the desk, or onto the path under the stars.

Samarang, Indonesia (April, 1995)
San Vincente, Mexico (1997)
La Mision, Mexico (1999)
Tallin, Estonia (April, 2000)
Estonia tour (July, 2003)
Tartu, Estonia  (November, 2003)
Monrovia, Liberia (February, 2004)
Lesotho with World Vision  (March, 2005)

It looks as though my next short-term mission trip will be to Rancho Sordo Mudo (Mexico) with a team of ten members from Bell Road. This is a home-grown mission emphasis from our local church. It is important to show my overall support for 'what God has been doing here' before I showed up. So, I made a commitment months ago to visit this mission site.

I long to visit Pastor Wesley and the Children's Home in Liberia. I still have unresolved ministry-needs in Pakistan. Fortunately (through internet-connectivity), the Lord has provided additional shoulders to share my burden for both of these nations. Below is a letter from Andy Deck (from Oklahoma). Andy found me on the web when he was the mission trip point-man for a church in Midland, Texas.

Stonegate Fellowship (the SBC church in Midland) were simply trying to follow God's lead in Africa. I was so excited about the possibility of them taking a team to Liberia to assist Pastor Wesley in accomplishing his LifeMission. That trip did come to pass in July, 2006. Andy was one who wrote to encourage Joe during his 80-day adventure there earlier that year. Here is the first 'talkie' that videographer, Mike Elkins posted while they were there (click here). Mike previously had been a videographer with YWAM, so I was thrilled to learn that he would be documenting the team's trip to Liberia.

CLICK HERE for an entire page of Mike's video posts in Liberia and other nations.

Ironically, Andy Deck wasn't even able to go on that trip because he and his family moved back to his home state of Oklahoma (in part to care for aging parents).

However, (wonderful-wonderful) Andy will be with us tomorrow in Auburn. He is due in the area for a marathon and expressed an interest in meeting face-to-face:


It’s OK if we stay with you at your house for three weeks, right?? (just kidding…I seem to remember a Pastor Wesley story along these lines…)

OK here’s the information… we are coming in for the California International Marathon on Sunday, Dec. 2nd. There will be three of us – my wife, Becky, my younger son, Caleb (14), and myself.

The marathon starts early on Sunday morning in Folsom and proceeds to a finish in the middle of Sacramento somewhere. for details:

On Friday, we will just head straight to the hotel. On Sunday, there will be no time for anything except run the marathon, take a shower, late checkout from the hotel, and head back to Oakland. However, our Saturday (12/1) is relatively free.

I will have to go by the race expo to pick up my race packet and other information. That could be almost anytime in the middle of the day. If you and your family have any free time on Saturday, we would love to meet for lunch or just to say “hi” in person.


Well, folks, it is now 4:03 a.m. and I think I'll catch a couple hours of sleep before the alarm goes off at 6:00. Its FRIDAY...and the deacons pray together at 6:30 just off I-80 and Lincoln (the Denny's Exit).

Now, that Pastor Matt is here, we're not only working smarter...we are definitely working HARDER. I warned him way back in July, 2007.   (click here)

Ya'll come back now, y'hear?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Woke up at 5:45. Something was missing when I woke up. No joyful song, no jump-outta-bed-ready to go....

Felt empty needing a fill-up. So, I'm gonna drive Joe to the Park & Ride where he will meet Wolfgang. I hope to commune with God in that car
Spirit-father-son (YHWH-rob-joe).

Then, it will be an  I-and-Thou discussion on the way home...

Whew! What a day yesterday.

Bob Knapp was bein' Bob...a bit pushy, yes....BUT,
a 15 year old named Paul gave his life to Jesus after Youth Group.  Hallelujah!

update: just got back from the drop-off at 6:53. We did pray together and rehearsed a bit of advent-season history. It was 12-12-02 when I received my first letter from Pastor Richard Wesley in Liberia. Joe and I had just shared an hour of devotional (reading through Blackaby's book called Abraham: the Friend of God).

Joe is praying about the process of 'reclaiming' his 'stolen property' and allowing other(s) to come alongside him as he learns an object lesson in 'redemption' and the after-effect.

As we were praying I thanked the Lord for his boundary lines. As men, it is important to show other guys that one can decide to 'nip it' (nip it in the bud) in regards to one's besetting sin(s). That decision of the will is definitely helpful to sinful man who realizes that except for the grace of God, bondage is a fact. Yet for those who will know the Truth, Jesus gives freedom to walk into the day of rest.

As we were praying I recalled the end of my night's dreams. It was a public altar call (not unlike the two nights we shared with brothers Greg, Phil, Jason, and Lazarus at Placer High Stadium in July).

In this dream, I wasn't 'working' at the altar, I was 'watching-and-praying' from the bleachers. I saw the movement of sinners and saints at the altar. As the music played softly (I assume there was music), people I recognized individuals who were moving forward to serve and to be served.

A little boy and his sister were standing alone facing the bleachers. Then, I spotted Joe heading to them. He squeezed the girl as if to say, "Hey, its great to see that you've come forward..."

I wondered if he had just been culturally inappropriate. Yet, Joe was bent down on his knee at their eye level and continued to be available to the Spirit's leadership.

He was Joe bein' the altar.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

4:14 a.m.

About multi-tasking: I'm getting too old fer it!

Whew! Yesterday about wore me out. The young whipper-snapper (pastor matt...tho' not all that young himself anymore) looked at me at 1:47 p.m. and asked,

"Pastor, are you alright?"

Well, it had been one long, long string of phone calls, live folks, important to-do ministry fulfillment, sermon-editing, office-talk, seed planted, growth watered, and very-important visions further launched forth.

"Pastor, are you alright?"

Yeah, lol...I was just wondering where my keys were because I was heading out the door with seventeen minutes to get to the cemetery, in my suit, tie straightened, hair combed, Bible in hand, mind stilled, and thematic, chosen hymn more-fully embraced:

The keys my hand (like I said...'whew'...)

Ironically, the hymn chosen by the deceased for this very day was:

My Faith has Found a Resting Place (click here)

The service around our sister's burial site was intimate and Word-based (Philippians chapters one and three). Every member of the family and the caregiver-in-attendance are confessing members of the Body of Christ, so we took our time in the Word (in the pleasant context of sun-warmth, birds-song, and lightbreeze). We hallowed that ground for generations to come and to reflect upon the meaning of a long and fruitful marriage-ministry.

Afterwards, Cathy and I met to visit in the home with this family. Much to our joy, we continued to 'connect' on several levels with the children of the deceased.
They will be accompanying their father this week for the First Sunday of Advent.

Returning home after dropping off newly-copied CDs (sermon and Gomer stuff) to the Ronks, and then (The Face of an Angel) to Conductor Jane, the day's ministry schedule was nearly over.

Then I saw this pop up on my kitchen table laptop:

9:17 PM
pastor matt: you're still up?

yup     you?

pastor matt:
of course

me: well, my day's responsibilities are finally done...

pastor matt:  I'm amped about the thought of having a charter school* thinking about the potential
    *a phone call that had come during our business lunch

me: I'm home now

pastor matt:
 Can I call you on an unrelated matter?

me: (withheld stuff)

9:23 PM
pastor matt: very cool... may I give you a call for 5 minutes of your time?

So...he called. Then, last night and this morning I wrote two letters to our own home-grown missionary,
Alisha Rosenau
. She is coming back to Auburn this Sunday for a week's visit. A group of us are planning a short-term mission trip to her ministry-setting (Rancho Sordo Mudo) after Christmas.

Here is a link to Alisha's website:  click here

It is now 4:55 a.m. I think I'll sing along with this hymn before I get out of bed:

My Faith has Found a Resting Place (click here)
    (in memory of Thressie)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A busy day today. Joe and I got up around 5:00; he enrolled online for next semester at Sierra College while I continued to edit Sunday's Message (click here).

is here; I'm their soundman.

Pastor Matt and I are planning to map out the music selections for December. Then, I have to turn in the Expert Advice column...and the weekly pastors' prayer mtg. is in Colfax today.

At 2:00, I will join an intimate circle of family at the cemetery this afternoon for a graveside burial. I must prepare myself for that important opportunity to serve our Lord. Its raining in Auburn today. I hope it lets up for the burial.

Patrice has informed me that shooting begins for the Mayberry Project this week.

Monday, November 25, 2007

Yesterday was another blessing for me and Cathy. Christy Sandhoff stayed busy at the Photo Directory table in our reception area.

Pastor Matt sang his latest song, "It's Not Too Late".
His piano-playing and voicings were refreshingly KeithGreen-ish. I love it!

BellRoad Bob and the Mrs. were away on Anniversary Leave. Many others were gone for the holiday as well. Still, God brought in visitors and we had a good time in the Lord. I met John Walker's daughter, Lynn, from Chico.

This weekend, Andy and Becky Deck are flying from Oklahoma to Sacramento. They are here for a running race (in Folsom).

They're gonna drive down I-80 to EXIT 123 and visit the campus of BellRoad International. Unfortunately, they will not be here for Sunday Service, but we will have our receptionists (cathy and mary?) give them a Visitor's Pack...and yours truly will give them a full-scale tour (including our Memorial Rose Garden and the Rooftop Vista).

Lord willing, I will edit and upload the sermon before noon for those who missed it...and for those who don't get it all the first time (like me!).

I was happy to see Josefina in attendance. I quickly introduced her to the others who are praying and planting seed towards a harvest through Iglesia Bautista Bell Road.

I've written two important letters regarding my ongoing attempts to resource Pastor Shamas Pervaiz with the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13. May God grant a great blessing to him as we continue to write back and forth.

Cathy, Mary, and I drove to Galt, then to Lodi yesterday. I met the Lodi cast of "A Mayberry Christmas" and video-taped several of the scenes. It was fun to watch a completely different cast work the dialogue.

The next thing I hope to do after uploading my sermon is to make a DVD for our Director, Patrice Rosenau, so she can she how Lodi is staging the scenes.

Another example of how we are rollin' in Auburn:

     'Working smarter...and  working harder'

Sunday, November 24, 2007

I woke up a little before 4:00 a.m. and felt refreshed to tweak my sermon outline. This message is still in the oven because we hope to serve it pipin' hot for those who come to the Table.

   (wanna take a look? click here)

will prepare the way to learn from four Old Testament characters during the Four Sundays of Advent:

    1) Abraham 

The fifth candle will be lit on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I was happy to see that Lynette and her son Paul made it to the Union Gospel Mission last night. I invited them to also come to our gathering this morning at 10:15.

I fully expect to see Josefina at church this morning as well. I met her at BSF on Tuesday and told her about Iglesia Bautista Bell Road. She had prayed that God would open a door for Spanish-speaking ministry.

   " (with andy-like expression)
                        the proof is in the eatin' "

Saturday, November 23, 2007

I went to bed at 11:20 last night. Woke up at 5:15 and am looking ahead (tomorrow) to work out details for taking a group to Lodi. We will meet the Lodi cast at their 1:30 rehearsal of "A Mayberry Christmas". We will leave right after our morning service. That means I'll have to find someone to fill in for me as 'techie' at Iglesia Bautista Bell Road (in room 900 at 1:00).

Qualifier: must share a desire to be a part of something greater than oneself while operating a DVD machine and video projector. 

Tomorrow's message is entitled The Face of an Angel. Our three year series is approaching the first intersection with the 'christian' calendar. In this Advent Season (2007), we will consider Salvation History as told by Stephen before he is martyred. I preached it this way in 2002, I believe. Each week, we read a portion of Stephen's testimony and focused on one of four Old Testament characters whose life he cited as character witnesses.

Tomorrow's sermon will serve as our introduction to the primary witness (Stephen) before the
First Sunday of Advent (December 2nd).

Tonight (7:30) is our outreach at the

Union Gospel Mission
  (Sacramento at Richard & I-5)

A long-standing tradition is to first meet up with the Wolf Gang (The Rosenaus') at 5:30 for a home-cooked meal, then leave for Sacramento promptly at 6:30. the services are timed to be over at exactly 8:30. I have made a commitment to being there as much as possible.

The Director, Tim Lane, called me last month and asked if I would be part of a 'Staff Renewal Emphasis' that is scheduled for January, 2008. I told him that it would be my honor to feed the lambs who are serving in such a vital ministry.

If anyone wants to join us, please call me on my cellphone:    
    (209) 323-0727  ...or here's the map

By the way, Tim Lane was previously a member at Bell Road. See what God has done by taking him at his 'yes', and moving Tim along a path chosen for him. Tim now directs the UGM and pastors a church in our denomination. Here is a piece he wrote about one of our historic missionaries. Heroes of the Faith: Lottie Moon

Yesterday, Cathy and I drove to Downtown Grass Valley for an afternoon date. We had a wonderful lunch at a little cafe, walked all the streets, visited several antique and specialty shops, stopped for a cup of coffee and walked some more. This was a very special time of discussing and praying over our family concerns. Someone had told me that the downtown district was run by hippie capitalists. So, that thought was on my mind as I visited with shopkeepers. Yeah, it felt like home. It was a perfect day on planet earth (walking hand-in-hand with my bride).

On the way there and back, we listened to the Practice CD of the Auburn Cast for Christmas in Mayberry. The playwright, Jebby, called us to share that he had just heard it online and wanted me to bring a master with me Sunday, so he can make copies for his cast and crew.

Cathy worked an overnight for Home Instead. It is now 6:10; I think I'll sleep a bit more before she gets home and the day continues...

Friday, November 22, 2007

I'm up at 4:40 a.m. Usually we have a Deacon's Prayer Meeting at 6:30 on Fridays but I think that isn't happening today due to the men's thanksgiving-break schedule.

I was up kinda late working on tightening up a practice CD of Jebby's script for Christmas in Mayberry. Rather than taking the time to write an entry, I'll give an example of a 'normal' chat between me and our new guy, Pastor Matt:

me: I'm very close to finishing the whole practice CD
I've added some sound effects to sweeten it a bit
   phone rings    door open     electrical shock

matt: electrical shock...haha

me: Gomer gets shocked

matt: ah... nice

8 minutes

11:55 PM
matt: I thought you would like that
So just to make sure, you don't care that it does not copy DVD?

me: yeah..not necessary right away

matt: sounds good   so whats the next step

me: audio cd is in great demand asap. we'll look at the budget get the area to pull it from and order it tomorrow

matt: We have money in the music budget...

me: then you need to get that label done for us

matt: will do
lets make this happen

me: yeah and January will start new budget anyway

matt: sweet

11:58 PM
we should order 1000 blanks with your label

matt: I'll have something for you to look at tomorrow evening

me: then the thermal printer can add the extra stuff when important to look fully polished
Like in the Visitor Pack

matt: excellent

me: but for in-house we can just use fine-tip
11:59 PM
sharpees to add the 'sermon title' or date or whatever

matt: now pastor... if we're going to do it right...
we should always do it right :)
your sermons deserve the very best

me: haha

matt: very good sir... I'll be up if you need me

me: ok
12:00 AM I'm gonna upload these scripts

matt: ok

me: so I'll let you know when part one is online

matt: sounds good

13 minutes

12:13 AM


matt: yes sir

me: here is the online link for ACT ONE
click here

12:14 AM
listening now

me: I need to figure out an easy way to split the tracks (scenes)

matt: That's easy
           I have software for that

me: great
12:15 AM if we could do that tomorrow, I'd like to have the CDs available for the main actors on Sunday

matt: ok
It will take me less than a half hour
Is there a way to condense it under 80 minutes?
If not we won't be able to put it on one CD

12:17 AM

yeah it is gonna be under 68 minutes when I finish this


me: so we can do one CD which will be much better

no prob

The actors all have potential
        the CD will help a lot

I agree

I've given lots of 'helps' like DVD and other CD
        practices from Lodi

very cool
12:19 AM

but BUSY people haven't practiced
        as much as I would've liked...but anyway.. 

have all the parts been filled?
           not totally

me: however, I think we could also do this next christmas and make it excellent

matt: what's left?

me: there's the part of the Mayor

I was thinking of pitching it to the Mayor of Auburn

matt: good luck

12:21 AM

actually his Dad told me that he'd do it!
        haha   well, I think I'll go to bed

matt: ok sir

me: night

matt: talk with you tomorrow

me: see you tomorrow

Well, that's that. Onward. It's now 5:25...
Lots of work yet to do this morning to facilitate our cast by providing this Practice Track to help them with their lines.
Should you listen to some Act One (click here) Acts Two or Three (click here)'ll hear me filling in for Gomer and the Mayor.

is filling in for Skippy, and the cameos of Miss Jane, Sally Rogers, and Granny Clampett).

read for Daphne (the Fun Girls).

Thanksgiving Edition, November 22, 2007

Yesterday, Mary and I stopped at Jim Anderson's Antique Shop in Newcastle. I offered him $200 for his Locomotive Bell. It had been in his store since he opened. He graciously accepted my offer, so the Bell will be ringing up at 707 Bell Road as we near Crossings.

I found another Bronze Bell (sold online: click here) and see that it sold for $600. Thank Jim Anderson for being part of something bigger than bucks. Jim is gonna close this store in a couple months. The state of our economy has drastically cut into his sales.

Before going to Jim's store, I stopped to see Paul the Barber ( Paul Huston has a retro barbershop in Newcastle and also has a computer on the internet for his customers.

Here are two Auburn businesses that Cathy and I visited a couple days ago:  (Patty Bailey)
(Shawn Thomas and Robert Bissell)

I mentioned "Christmas in Mayberry" to both shop owners.

Today is the LAST day to see Across the Universe in Auburn. It is playing at the Old State Theatre at 8:30 p.m.

I'm counting this day aright:

1)  I'm blessed with a marriage of 22 years duration.
     M'lady's name is Catherine (pure heart). I woke her up
     kissing her face and whispering the affective.

2) Our children are a blessing to me. Though each one is
     still a work-(of-faith)in-progress, I can smell the savor of
     our Saviour as each one speaks, touches, serves, gives,
     and comes alongside me along the path I am choosing
     to walk.

3) My family-of-origin is still a sweet blessing from God
    Almighty as I move toward the end of this year. I have
    saved three voicemail messages from my Dad since the
    one where he called to tell me that our story made the
    hometown paper last summer. I haven't had much contact
    with all of those who are still living but the love abides and
    I pray that God's perfect and pleasing will shall be made
    manifest among them and their households.

4) I thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving the souls of all these
    precious people through the years who are members of
    Your Body. Your Church (my fellow branches, the other
    members, the living stones, the little lights, my brothers
    and my sisters) has been a profound blessing to me
    since the first day.

5) Friendship. Prayer-partners. Laughter. Melody. Laughter.
     Mutual Understanding. Shared grief. Laughter. Harmony.
     Laughter. Frame-of-Reference. Tears. Fusion.

It is now 6:12 on this Thursday morning.
I have been tweaking an epitaph for the back cover of
Adventures in Auburn: Year One.

I can't recall how it all turns out but now that God has added Pastor Matt to the mix, I am beginning to breathe deeply again.

"Integrity is more
   than just being good little boys and girls;
                       it is being (who you
1 truly are)."

                       --pastorob, December '07

My Thanksgiving Blessing for you

As you hunt and gather along your path of preference, may God grant visionary decisions. May those seeds of faithful seeds be rightly planted toward bearing fruit that lasts.

      1 you is plural in the oldest and most-reliable texts
      2 ya'll

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

very cool Mayberry update:

    I figure that the 'theme song' is copyrighted,
     so we're planning to compose our
       own tribute-to-Mayberry-whistlin'-ditty...

but in the meantime, check out this short video
   shot yesterday at Myers Lake
    with Auburn Opie and his Pa  CLICK HERE

It is now 6:14 and I have to drive Joe to his pick-up point to meet the Wolfman for work. Please check back for more updates to today's journal.

An email came in from a sister in Holland this morning.
Here is an excerpt and my reply:

On Nov 21, 2007 4:47 AM,

 janette wrote:

Blessings to you my dear brother in Christ Jesus,

<time/space-sensitive text withheld>

I am still awaiting replies to my earlier mails to you,
but do understand that you are a very busy man.

God Bless you my dear friend.
Please give my best wishes to your family.

Kindest regards


Dear Janette,

I continue to PRAY with others who have helped me
'day-by-day' attempt to meet <name withheld>
(deepest) needs....

Please don't think that I have neglected you.
The time is not yet right for me to share much more
than I have already.

However, the day will come (Lord willing),
when I have adequate time to give you a lengthy letter
that celebrates ACCOUNTABILITY and
my yet-unfinished trans-doctoral thesis entitled

 A Theology of Integrity.

Here's a quoteable quote from the back cover:

"Integrity is more
   than just being good little boys and girls;
                        it is being who you truly are!"

                      --pastorob, December 31, 2007


that same guy 
*the same on Thursday at 6:11 a.m.
       as on Sunday at 11:27

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Even if you don't have much time today, at least give-a-listen to the first three minutes of this message. If BellRoad Bob hadn't announced Mt. Sinai as the final destination, I'd guess the kids were headed for The Shady Rest outside Hooterville.

The FAITH of Abraham: click here

..where the ol' preacher speaks to Romans 4, the Faith-Works debate, the 20-80 principle, the widow's mite, the 'friend of God' (and the yet-unpreached joy-sucking misery of Luke 15's older brother).

I was stressin' out around 4:00 p.m. yesterday. Much had already been accomplished but ...

1) I learned that a valuable slip of paper was missing..
2) Joe was gonna need to be picked up from the Bank...
3) Working Daniel's mini-vidicam without instructions... .
4) A glitch--much like old-school vertical-horizontal hold... ..
5) My cell phone battery was nearly gone... ...beeping....
6) Beeping loud, beeping at an increased rate.... ..

Usually an ellipsis is a good thing for me. Not yesterday. The lack of resolution was getting to me . . .

7) The Leadership Council was starting at 6:30 . . .  ..
8) The Mayberry Rehearsal was starting at 7:00 . . . ...
9) We really needed to record the Rehearsal for a CD..
     . . . oh man, I was supposed to stop over
           at Gary's, look at and move the sea-foam green
           chairs (with ottoman) 'on-the-way home' . . .

So, in comes Pastor Matt and asks,
       "uh...what's wrong Pastor?"

It all resolved. Matt solved #9, Wanda tackled #1,
  Joe handled #2, Cathy helped with #6,
      Les and Ann took over #7 . . .

Practice was over by 9:00. I dropped off a CD to Conductor Jane and headed home to watch Breach (a suspense tale based on an FBI true story). We don't watch much stuff like that because Cathy isn't wired for suspense.

We had some questions so after the movie, we watched the extra features (a documentary, and 20 minutes of the Director's Commentary). I then, loaded up the recording of the Mayberry Rehearsal and after 15 minutes of editing failed to 'save' in the correct manner.

So, I went to bed at 2:00 a.m. (not even frustrated). I started out the day around 6:30 (so I'd probably do well to take a nap sometime today).

I'm scheduled to open and run sound for BSF at 8:30,
   then a pastors' prayer meeting at BellRoad at noon,
    then Sheriff Taylor and I are gonna meet Opie
    and shoot the opening shot
    (walkin' beside Myers Lake with fishin' rods),
      and call Gary about those seafoam green chairs...

I really wanna get started on editing our
            Mayberry Rehearsal CD   --so g2g.

Thank you, KC, for installing the Video Projector on the ceiling of the BellRoad Express.

  (...and thank you everyone else for helping me
       get through the ellipses which are ahead . . .)

         November 20th - December 31st , Lord willing ...
         Soli Deo Gloria

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm up at 5:40 this morning excited about editing yesterday's sermon and getting it uploaded. Cerissa was down in L.A., Cathy and Mary were both in the Nursery, and the good folks at The BellRoad Express need to hear their CDs ASAP. So...gotta get to work!

The Truth Project's admonition rings true 'work ought also be fun--fun enough to make one leap out of bed ready to get back to work!'

btw, this is Wolf's girl, Patrice, playing the piano during the Offertory yesterday. This goes out to Mexico for her big sister, Alisha:

Click here for Offertory--Patrice Rosenau

Check back a bit later to listen to

This email was awaiting me when I awoke:

Nov 19, 2007 2:43 AM,

Subject: pastor your 'Yes and Amen' video posted on YouTube blessed me tremendously

Langston Jones wrote:

Pastor Rob,

I just wanted to tell you that one of your video post on YouTube had a great impact on me this morning. I was asking God to assure me that his promises are as he says they are.

Your video was the very thing I needed by which God answered my prayer. Thank you so much.

In Christ,


Dear Langston,

Thank you as well for taking the time to write and tell me. That little bit of testimony was uploaded simply to 'store' it somewhere for individuals who were (then) currently along with me for the ride. I didn't particularly think that anyone else might ever take a look.

Now you have assured me of the 'now-ness' of tomorrow's potential. A YouTube video apparently was testifying for me while I slept.

(no matter how many promises God has made....they are)
Yes, in Christ,


I think that Langston was referring to this video

    Yes and Amen which is stored at google-video. As of yesterday, it had only ever been viewed 34 times. My own views probably account for about 4 of the 34.

"Today has not yet been counted."
  (not even Langston's 2:30 a.m.)

I'm reminded of Moses as he closes the 90th Psalm:
    "Lord, teach me to count my days aright."

Yes, I think I'll take another look at Yes and Amen before I get to work.

Friday, November 16, 2007

On Friday night, I played around a bit more with audio tracks
looking for The BellRoad Express AudioCue: click here

5:30 p.m.
The California Highway Patrol called just now. Joe's car was found in a ditch in Grass Valley. It is being towed to a shop and we will get a call tomorrow about what to do next.

On Thursday morning Joe went out to the parking lot only to discover that his car was missing. I had him take my car to work and I called in the 'stolen car' report. The CHP came onsite to fill out the paperwork. He is maintaining a good attitude through the circumstance.

At 6:30, I met with two of the deacons to pray. It was a very good time of yielding our finite understanding of circumstances to our All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Ever-Present Lord and Savior. His Name is Jesus. One prayer voiced the truth that the person who stole Joe's car has something missing in his life. We prayed for his greatest need. That's a testimony of 'leaning not upon our own understanding' and acknowledging God's higher ways.

Troubling circumstances are best addressed in prayer. I thank the Lord for the Wednesday night prayer group and this Friday morning prayer time.

May God grant you peace that passes all understanding in this day's circumstances.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yesterday, I opened a letter from a man incarcerated at the prison in Tracy. Someone had left an Auburn Journal on his bed and from that he got my address. This fellow tells that he grew up in Auburn. We prayed for him in our prayer meeting.

During lunch, I went to TrendCuts to get my hair cut. The ladies there remembered me as the pastor with pink hair. One asked me for specifics on "Christmas in Mayberry". That really encouraged me.

After lunch, I enjoyed hearing Ken Hemphill (onadd to the stewardship message that the Spirit has been delivering to me today:

1) It meets the needs of the Saints.
2) It produces Thanksgiving to God
3) It leads others to glorify God
4) It creates mutual prayer and yearning.

Why cooperate with other churches?

It's biblical.
It provides strength and stability.
It promotes unity and diversity.
It enables strategic thinking.
It provides a biblical mode for other churches.
It enables Kingdom Advance.
It ensures that God receives the Glory.

With these words, Ken Hemphill closed his time with church leaders here:

"May God bless California Southern Baptists as you get serious about connecting for Kingdom Advance."

I had a couple letters waiting for me last night about Veteran's Day. We had neglected to observe it in our Sunday Service last week. We will acknowledge our Veterans this Sunday and make mention of the history of this day: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Today I plan on reading and working out my sermon schedule through the end of the year. Meanwhile, I will be listening to the events at a gathering of brothers and sisters in West Sacramento.

LIVE feed of our State Convention in West Sacramento

Brian Kaiser will lead a music celebration at 8:30, 1:30, and 2:20 p.m. I spoke with him the other day. I really recognize the guy from sometime when we shared some event  together but I couldn't recall. He told me that he happened to be in the congregation on the day that I preached in view of a call at BellRoad (1-7-07). It seems that he said he was going out as an assignment for his doctoral studies. As a doctoral student, I'm sure that he was profoundly challenged by the message that day (lol in the most reverent of tone)!

Brian is the guy who told the '400-pound Avon Lady' joke last Sunday night, btw... (I had a 'talk' with the guy the next day. I informed him that my wife sells Avon and that he was promptly hissed at by others in the alto section).

At 1:35, Ken Hemphill is speaking to the Convention. It was at a tri-state conference back in the late eighties when I last heard him share a message. I hope that God will direct my steps through this day of spiritual preparation. I pray for the Yes and Amen to come from a great number of individuals who are charged to lead God's precious people.

May we break free of our own unseen chains and humbly love our enemies. May we then be empowered to 'kick down' unseen prison walls in pursuit of others who need to be set free.

LIVE feed of our State Convention in West Sacramento

click here for the morning schedule

click here for the afternoon schedule

Hey, Cathy just called me and said that she was listening to Sunday's Message: A Closer Look at F.A.I.T.H.

I told her that I was wondering if it was boring.

She countered the thought by sharing that it had already inspired her to stay attached to he Vine and bear fruit branch in a Jesus-Lovin', Soul-Winnin', Disciple-Making, Ministry Equipping, Missionary-Sending Church.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I enjoyed watching the LIVE feed of our convention on Tuesday night. Joe and I saw that Curt Harjo was sitting right behind the pulpit. Jonathan was next to him. We also saw Mary, Patrice, DeLynn, Nancy, Ben and Wolfgang. That was fun!

Fermin Whitaker is preaching a message as I write. This man always put evangelism with unchurched Californians at the focal point.

"Pray the Lord of the Harvest...and He will send workers."

The Annual Meeting of our California Southern Baptist Convention is meeting today, tonight, and tomorrow in Sacramento at the Russian Baptist Church. They are streaming the entire services LIVE through this FEED:

Click here for the LIVE feed

Don't let the Russian text scare you...just press PLAY on the Media Window. I was able to listen to my friend, Pastor Mike Abdoullazadah, who preached in the afternoon session. Ken Hemphill is preaching tonight, I think. I had thought about going but will probably tune in to the feed at 6:45 and see how its going. Some of our choir members are joining in for a MASS CHOIR tonight on that feed.

The 2007 California Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting is scheduled November 13-14 at the Russian Baptist Church, 1000 Sacramento Ave., West Sacramento, CA 95605.  Click here to obtain directions to the church.

It may take a minute or so for the streaming video to buffer.  Please wait.
The schedule is:
Tuesday, November 13
1:30 p.m.
6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, November 14
8:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m.

To learn more information about the annual meeting,
 click here

I just uploaded a draft of Sunday's Message (complete with BellRoad Bob's Call to chugga-chugga on out with
The BellRoad Express

Click here to give a listen to "A Closer Look at F.A.I.T.H."

note: copyright restrictions limit our liberty to share more than just an excerpt of two songs in this message: ('How Great Is Our God' and 'I Can Only Imagine').

Yesterday, Matt and I spent from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Music Conference and Awards Dinner. We were blessed to sit under the teaching of Don Fugate and Roger Byrd.

In the evening, the assembly honored the liftetime achievements of Ted Campbell and later Max Lyall. Three young people from BellRoad sang with the New America Singers to honor Ted and Betty Campbell with a surprise concert. Our representatives were Marissa, Joe, and Hannah.

Max Lyall shared his great and witty talent at the piano. I have been pleased how the Lord has provided wonderful opportunities to share some of the best of our California Southern Baptist fellowship with the new kid on our block, Pastor Matt Klein.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Today's Veteran's Day so Joe's bank isn't open. Fortunately, Wolfgang offered him the opportunity to work in his shop today. Cathy is doing two shifts for Home Instead so Mary and I will be on our own.

Soon I will head into the office and, Lord Willing, will retrieve yesterday's message from the Soundroom Computer, spend a couple hours editing it for CD, and start making copies for the adults who ministered in the Nursery and on the BellRoad Express.

I would have to say that yesterday's morning service was nearly complete. It was a bit tough getting there but having Pastor Matt and Justine in the mix made it much better for all of us, methinks.

Bob Knapp and I are having fun watching God use the members of our Body to bless the effort of the other members under the real Lordship of Christ Jesus.

Railroad Renee, Conductor Jane, SnackShop Heidi, BellRoad Bob, the Chancellor, the Bells, Whistles, Movers, and Shakers, the Deacons, the Women's Ministry, the Men's Ministry, the Welcome Teams, the Teachers, and the drummer saw the bones and sinews start to 'come together' yesterday.

Early this morning, I wrote an email to a field-worker in Pakistan. I extend these same thoughts to all the precious souls who have been faithful to minister life in their own peculiar situation:

May God bless you with a harvest yet unseen
     for you have been faithful
           to plant, to water,
           ...and even to pull some weeds.

May He rain upon your effort,
     shine upon your desires,
      and bring forth a bountiful harvest.    AMEN.

    hmmm.... I feel a song comin' on:

God Will See Us Through

David Burkhardt was our host at the the Music Conference last night. He is a very funny guy. I tried to let our new people each know how he is related to one of our own (protecting internet privacy here by not linking mother's maiden name with the aforementioned).

After the Conference, Cathy wanted to get some of her herbal home remedy to take over to Pastor Matt. Apparently he hasn't been sleeping much for the last few months. Well, Cathy's solution is to swallow a few of the very stinky herbal tablets called Valerian Root. They knock her out for a deep sleep. I have taken them a couple times through the years...but of course, I don't mind not sleeping (most of the time). How else does one account for such voluminous journal entries?


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Those of us who have been listening to recent messages, are anticipating a closer look at F.A.I.T.H.

My friend, Pastor Chris Zeller called me last night. I shared that none of my google searches had given me the description I needed to see in consideration of Bobby Welch's evangelistic method.

Chris (one who works the FAITH method) was gracious to send me this rundown:

FAITH Gospel Presentation (during the presentation the scriptures indicated are recited from memory without citing chapter and verse, almost conversationally):

F- is for Forgiveness

- No one can go to heaven of have eternal life
unless they have received God's forgiveness.

-Man is sinful Romans 3:23

-God provides forgiveness through Jesus Christ
  Ephesians 1:7

A- is for Available

 - God's for forgiveness is Available

-To all (the whole world) John 3:16

-But God's forgiveness is not automatic Matthew 7:21

I- Is for impossible

- It is impossible for anyone to work their way into heaven

- Forgiveness of sin and eternal life are the gift of God
  Ephesians 2:8-9

T- is for Turn

-To receive God's Forgiveness a person must turn (or
  repent) from sin and self and trust in Christ alone
  Luke 13:5

-Jesus Christ is the only way to God John 14:6

-We must believe and confess him to receive God's forgiveness Romans 10:9

H- is for heaven

-heaven is a little bit here and hereafter

-here-Jesus came to give us abundant life

  John 10:10 "I have come that you may have life
                       and have it more abundantly."

-Here after -John 14:3

Tomorrow we will be planting these seeds in soil that we have prayed might be good for a hundred-fold harvest.

Friday, November 9, 2007

One of our faithful readers, AnnR, tip-toes out of the boat and walks by faith today. May God bless you, dear Sister.

I've been 'under the weather' with some kind of congested ears-and-throat since Wednesday night. I still had to push ahead with important appointments yesterday (the first being at 7:30 a.m.)

First off, Pastor Matt readily diagnosed and cured a server issue that Emma was facing. Then we went out on visit to the Oaks of Auburn and met with Tammy, the Activities Director, about next Thursday's BellRoad Revue. The synergistic verve that comes from having Matt alongside me is beyond my desciption. I am simply blessed.

Our Seniors' Choir then had their first official rehearsal. Curt Harjo has volunteered to direct this choir which will be combined with other outreach ministries in development for our community's seniors.

Member-in-waiting, KC, dropped by to volunteer some time so we worked together on an A-V issue in Room 900 and then drove to Parkside Nazarene to gather information on one of their ministries.

Pastor Matt and I also had a fruitful discussion with our Extended Session Nursery Coordinator in his newly-arranged office. After getting to know each other better, we set an important goal for our Nursery Program and shared a good time of prayer.

Last night, I droveNo Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green Mary down to Galt to stay with the best friend from her middle-school years. On the entire trip down, she read aloud from Melody Green's classic,
'No Compromise'.

Mary is thoroughly enjoying this particular assignment at EducationPlus. She has enjoyed Melody's flair for writing and regularly pauses to reflect aloud upon aspects of Keith's life. As a Dad, I am pleased to hear joy in my girl's voice. Since Randy Stonehill has been a 'friend of the family' ever since Mary was a little girl, this will become all the more exciting as she see how God used Randy in Keith and Melody's life.

In Galt, I stopped by the Thrift Store and spotted an antique Royal typewriter. Jessy and Michelle's parents (kids with whom I worked at FBC Galt) own that store. They have always been great supporters of creative arts so I had no problem asking to 'borrow' typewriter for Andy's Desk.

I picked up another practice CD from Jebby's house, hung out with my old friend, Deacon Jim, and stopped to see Scott and Ana Bencker. There I gathered more resources for our newly forming outreach (Iglesia Bautista Bell Road).

OOPS....I forgot that our associational Executive Board for the Foothills Association met at our church site last night. I didn't get back into Auburn until about 9:00 p.m.
Here's the new website for our association of Southern Baptist churches (click here).

Well, I've spent an hour documenting some of yesterday's events, so I think I'll get a bit of shut-eye before I have to leave in one hour for our early morning prayer meeting with the Deacons.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Abraham Lincoln

"A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have."

Since I have chosen to publicly back gathering signatures for a referendum to overturn SB 777, there is the possibility that someone will associate me with others who gain the same pool of 'enemies' or find myself on someone's list of 'friends'.

There were activist groups on both sides who knew all about this before it was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. If you would like to see a list of supporters and opponents of SB 777 to decide upon which side of the fence you will soon find yourself:


Even if you don't put your own name (or group name) some other list-maker may choose to do it for you.

Perhaps you have happened upon this column today and you haven't even heard of SB 777 yet. Well, here is an example of a site that the supporters of SB 777 are watching closely: <worldnetdaily>. I obviously don't read their publication or I would have learned about this new law much earlier.

Since this will be in the news, it wouldn't surprise me to see my name associated with the very fellow who picketed our church last Easter. That likelihood was one of the reasons I took the opportunity for a definitive stand-off (face-to-face) rather than simply ignore the man, his son, and their followers (see last April's journal for background).

I have been involved in referendums a couple other times during my 25 years as a Christian. There is a teaching from Jesus that has motivated my actions upon those occasions.

"Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar."

For me, this imperative goes well beyond simply 'paying one's taxes'. We are to put God's Law first in our lives and pray accordingly for our governmental leadership. However, in America, 'the people' are supposed to be 'Caesar'. I believe that a Christian should be open to serving in a political career. Likewise, our young people should register to vote and learn about the political process.

Enough gathered signatures before the deadline will lead to a referendum which will, at least, result in the option to allow all registered California voters to decide if they want to continue with SB 777 as the Law of the Land in our public (and charter) schools.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

When I heard about SB 777 (see yesterday's entry) on the radio, some commentator from another state was lamenting that 'not one California pastor' had spoken out against it.

"Huh?!", I thought to myself, "what's that?"

Attributing 'fear to speak out' toward pastors in California was a flawed presupposition.  We just hadn't heard anything about it. Emma printed off some of the information for me to take to our weekly pastors' prayer meeting. None of the guys there were yet aware of this legislation.

I am not one to jump on political bandwagons but sense that this is quite important--not just for California Christians but for those who will continue to pay taxes into the public school system, who will teach in them (including yours truly), and/or will send their children to be taught there.

Here are a couple links:

for background, legal stuff, and petitions (
click here).

Here is a one-page Fact Sheet on SB 777 (click here).

Here's an audio link to
Dr. Albert Mohler's Call-In Show with a plea for Californians to (re)act by gathering signatures for a referendum to overturn this legislation  (click here).

click on this frame to view the first entries in local art exhibit

    'Pastor Without A Gun'

  On display now at the
  BellRoad Center for Christ
       in the Popular Culture

 (aka) Bell Road Baptist Church

from the INBOX:     


    We noticed while watching Andy Griffith on TV,
    that there is a wooden box (tray) for mail etc.
    on the desk. Just so happens we also have one
    exactly like the one pictured on TV.

    Would you want to use it, or do you already have
    enough "stuff" on the desk?


I've already closed the deal. We've got our wooden tray now! This letter from Madelyn aptly demonstrates the Stone Soup principle that I so desire to bring to our local church.

CLICK HERE for the Stone Soup Legend

I hunger and thirst for some good ol' fashioned Stone Soup!

Jebby (our Mayberry Playwright) was at our old VisionWalk stop (Cafe Latte) when he noticed
Mark S. Allen
(from Good Day Sacramento) on-location in Galt. Here is a clip from their morning show:

click here and then, in the the search bar paste    

      small town superstar part 3

      Mary's friend, Brianna, who came to
      stay with us a couple weekends ago,
      was featured on the same day in part 4

We serve a supper at 5:00 at our church on Wednesday nights. If you wanna come as a first-time guest, someone will pick up the tab.

Matt Klein starts 'officially' today after he returns from dropping a friend off at the airport.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Last night we unloaded a very long U-Haul truck into the house where
Matt an Justine Klein will host a thriving 24/7 BellRoad University Class called Ministry 701.

Although there has been no official proclamation until this very moment (and they don't even know themselves), their Auburn Mission is definitely part of coming around the bases a second time. Sliding into third ('Discovering and Working one's ministry in the local church') brings the roar of the crowds in the stands. The bases are loaded.

I'll let the locals finish the scenario. I suppose the question is
'Who's up to bat next?'

To see the area in which our new Associate Pastor has moved, click here. To hear some of Matt's music today:

Here I Am.mp3

I Stand Amazed.mp3  

Lets Talk About It.mp3  


Trust in Me   (written last week for Les and Bobbi)

Biographical Sketch: Matthew R. Klein (click here)

Other Important News: Out here in California, the church cannot lay claim to number the number
7. Christian optimists might hope that a bit of legislation called SB 777 could possibly bring the Ten Commandments back into the public classroom, or post the Golden Rule in our Courthouses. Not so, Sherlock.

I was listening to a Christian radio station when I first heard about SB 777 (signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger). I still haven't had adequate time to research the alarming projections of the radio commentator. However, Mike Sanchez (our associational Director of Missions) just sent a link which discusses concerns SB 777 should pose for those who share a biblical worldview (
click here).

 I also received an audio link to
Dr. Albert Mohler's Call-In Show with a plea for Californians to act with quick decisiveness:  (click here)

Having begun my ninth month as Pastor, I have focused on very localized ministries. So much of what I have written in this column has been purposefully limited. However, my interests in Liberia and Pakistan have continually tugged at my heart.

Pakistan: This nation's issue's are definitely in the news these days. Last week's cover of Newsweek (click here) and yesterday's headlines about emergency rule in Pakistan (click here).

Liberia: My internet friends, Rodney and Gayla Edwards (from Tennessee) are currently in Liberia on a 14-Day mission to further establish the work of a parachurch ministry they started called Service to Servants. For a link to the last full day's journal they have published (on Sunday),

click here for the current Liberia Journal

Finally, here is a letter from my one of my life's greatest heroes, Greg Brayton, the blind guy in my hometown. He has co-produced and played on almost all of the 40-plus songs I've published through the years. Greg has been dealing with cancer. Here's a 'dear all' letter I received this morning:

I’m involved in an experimental study through the University of Michigan. I’m taking a drug called, Erbatux, instead of the normal chemotherapy. My last x-rays showed, that a couple tumors got smaller, and that a new one did appear. Guess this is like good and bad news. The side effects of this treatment are not nearly as hard to take as regular chemo though so I like that.

I’ve written some sort of music everyday since early July. I don’t ever remember anything quite like this creativity wise. I’m darn near overwhelmed, but God keeps me strong through it all.

Next week, Sally and I together, will bring out, three new
CDs!   I’ve never done anything like that before. A new one that comes under the heading, Christian contemporary, an instrumental, that is somewhat modern, yet easy to listen too, and one, that I’ll call a weird one, that uses just about every sonic trick I have in this rather large book we call a studio. Heck the weird one might be my fave. It certainly will be fun.

Still even after releasing this new stuff, I’m still ready to go down their today and make more music. I’m entering a contest held by and I came up with something last night that I’m very keen to work on.
I have had others recording here as well, God has kept the business going too. The praise band at church just gets better every week, the vocals are really starting to come together, and it’s just beautiful. I couldn’t ask for anything more musically!

God is so good!

We go to Ann Arbor every Friday and in another month or so, we’ll take more x-rays, and hopefully it’ll show me getting better. It would appear that God wants me to keep doing music so I feel confident that your prayers are helping. Thank you so much. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write here, but as you can tell, I’ve been doing the sort of thing I love doing for God.

Sally also loves what she does. Working back here in Coldwater at the prison, and teaching more life lessons to the inmates who can really benefit from the things they are learning from her. We have just been so blessed here in the last couple months.

Well I really need to get this written and back down to the studio for more music. Praise the Lord.

God is good, all the time.
All the time God is good!

Yes and oh yes,
Amen and amen.


Monday, November 5, 2007      

I woke up at 4:15 but, after checking my email, I decided that I should sleep some more. So, here it is at  7:15 and I'm much more rested--ready to do the Monday stuff.

1.  I will listen to, edit, publish Sunday's sermon.
    This message was a continuation of 'the Romans Road'
    theme that I've been sharing the last few weeks. Over the
    weekend, I had received two different email forwards
    that stirred up some passion to balance what I think was
    an unfair attack on a brother's ministry (click here).

     Here it is--click below for
     Still on the Roman Road to F.A.I.T.H

    In the message I make mention of attacks on the
    Life Missions of both
Bill Hybels and Rick Warren.
    I still think that it is ironic (even funny) that ol' pastorob
    (and fbc galt) is forever sandwiched between
    these two  innovative brothers (and their local churches) in
    the Leadership Journal:

  click here to read 'Giants in the Land'

    The recording of yesterday's message will share a quote
D. L. Moody on 'critics' in the church. Although it was
    chosen for the message three weeks ago, I think that, as
    the preacher, I was not yet ready to share it from my own

2.  I will open the doors for the BSF Leadership Team.
     I'll say this again: Ladies, come to Bible Study
     Fellowship tomorrow at 9:10 a.m. I am fully impressed
     at the high quality of this weekly gathering to learn
     God's Word. ALSO, they provide free childcare.

Lord willing, Matt, Justine, Jonah, and Evan are driving across the state of California today. I am so thankful that God is adding this family to our local church.

Oh yeah, He as been adding others to our church family day-by-day. I PRAISE the Lord for His remembrance of our cry for help.

Another PRAISE report: Dan Clark has finished the railing around Andy Taylor's Desk in our Courthouse scene. I just can't fully express how happy this act-of-service has made me. Another 'love-language' gift was given to me yesterday.

Ben and Caitlyn gave me a card with two highly-personal, handwritten messages (they were 'words-of-affirmation'). They handed this to me during the Sunday School hour. Those loving words were 'right-on-time'....and I told 'em so.

THEN, I opened a beautifully wrapped present to discover a board game called 'Mayberry-opoly'. They wouldn't know that my TV-watching has been almost exclusively episodes of The Andy Griffith Show (from the complete 8 season set I purchased to study for "A Mayberry Christmas").

This stuff will be fun to share with old buddy, Jebby, who wrote the script. We hardly see each other anymore but still love one another deeply. This Mayberry Christmas project helps us keep our hearts knit together.

Sunday, November 4, 2007      

Home at 3:30 in the afternoon. A full day thus far. Morning Service was well-sprinkled with 'new' people. We honored Curt for working with music so faithfully. We also acknowledged Brandon and Heidi for their dedication to working with youth. All three received a long, warm handclap and a standing ovation. None will 'retire', we will simply work smarter and work harder.

The BellRoad Express took its first run for Children's Church today. We are focusing on the Ten Commandments to begin. Thanks to BellRoad Bob, Conductor Jane, SnackShop Heidi, and RailRoad Renee for helping with this all-important first day!

The first formal gathering in preparation for Iglesia Bautista Bell Road was attended by Karla, Sharon, Christy, Cathy, Jesse, Elba, Nancy. I am very pleased with the hopeful expectation that this will blossom into a viable ministry in the Auburn area.

More later.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Last night, we hosted an outreach event at our church campus. I think anyone who was there would say that our Festival was a great success. Thanks to BellRoad Bob, Kristy, Wanda, Debbie, Dan, Renee, Scott, April, Kurt, Christy, Bob, Jesse, David, Mary, Steve, Marcie, Vicki, Jean, Nancy (and all the other ministers that I didn't get a chance to see in action). Click on this photo of Kristy to get a look at our Harvest Festival. Unfortunately, some really cute shots of certain children cannot be shown on the Internet. My camera quit working, so this isn't a complete presentation. I hope to gather some photos from other cameras. If anyone has any photos to send me, please do!

A young pastor with an internet ministry from Australia has been sending me emails for quite awhile. His name is Josh Mitchell. I don't know remember how he got my address. It may have been that he (or someone in his organization) was web-surfing, came across this page and just added me to their mailing list.

Sometimes I designate 'form letters' like that as spam and never see them again. However, I have chosen to allow Josh's letters to keep coming.

Today, Josh sent a note to his mailing list warning ministers about a deceptive plot to ruin their lives. He had been contacted by a what sounded like a real person truly interested in asking questions about faith:

   "The young lady, emailed, and I immediately thought it
     was an opportunity for the gospel. So having her email
     address I wrote to her from my church email address. I
     outlined that I had a wife and children, and was very busy,
     and that I hoped she found excellent friends of good
     character. I left her with the final line of 'here is a great
     website I found interesting:'

     She responded, and with light chat asked more about us.
     She left a link with information about her. I made the
     stupid mistake of looking, curious about who I was
     talking to. It was a pornographic profile."

Josh went on to share how troubled he was that his eyes fell upon sights he hadn't chosen to look toward. I haven't written about this issue very much, however I have taken the opportunity to speak with individuals (and couples) about the problem facing men.
By looking at Josh's site (Hallelujah Baptist Mission), I found this link to a message Ray Comfort. My 'old' friend, John Rickard, once sent me some great material by Ray Comfort (and Kirk Cameron).

I have been taking the time to listen to this hour-long message (in fact, I'm still listening to it right now). Early this morning I was feeling oppressed as I was waking up. There were over ten unsettled stressors weighing upon mind. I began to acknowledge each situation (mostly relational) before the Lord (activating my faith in Proverbs 3:5-6).

Cathy laid her hand on my forehead and pray for me. This helped. However, listening to Ray Comfort's message (click on the frame above) has been the Lord's immediate response to the overwhelming issues facing me on this day. I am almost ready to get out of bed now.

The Lord has been guiding my steps on what to do to lead our church to become known by Him as a soul-winning, missionary-sending church. I think I had better map out recent events and see the demonstration of His guidance more clearly (the Ten Commandments in our Narthex and at the movie theatre, Los 10 Mandamientos de Iglesia Bautista Bell Road, the Wilderness Tabernacle, the Baptistry sermonette, door-to-door visitation, D.L. Moody stories, unmet expectations, and the detour(s) upon The (Roman) Road outline.

Here is an article that google chose for me to read. It is an interesting stoy about a South Korean mission strategy (click here).

May God give you a special time of prayer in the midst of your circumstances. May He also bring to your awareness a definite sense of your calling. May your day's activities be led by the Spirit--integrated and true to the character God is forming in you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cathy and I went door-to-door in our neighborhood with fliers yesterday (for the Children's Festival (festival de los niños) and an announcement for the kick-off of lessons on the 10 Commandments (in Spanish) at Iglesia Bautista Bell Road this Sunday at 1:00.

Cathy went to one apartment and discovered that Christina lives there. Christina works nearby and it turns out that I have given her two CDs over the weeks as I've made my way to church.

Today is the day some in history have called "all-halloweds Eve." We are leading in an outreach this evening at the church property. It is called "Harvest Festival" for the english-speaking folks (Festival de los niños for our spanish-speaking neighbors).

I received a nice letter early this morning from some friends who will be choosing to stay home and pray tonight. I wrote back and thanked them for 'directed prayer' and asked that they pray specifically for me as I try to meet every person who will come.

Here is an article I wrote for the newspaper earlier this month. CLICK HERE for today's Auburn Journal article (originally entitled 'True Confessions of a Party-Pooper') re-titled by the Editor as Halloween not so tricky

Our God is a great, big God...

Acts 21:10-12 records that Agabus met the apostle Paul at Caesarea Maritima and warned him about going to Jerusalem. He bound his own hands and feet with Paul's belt to demonstrate what the Jews would do there. Paul would not be persuaded. It may seem like the Spirit is giving two different messages (or that Paul wasn't listening). I came to the conclusion (years ago) that God was developing Paul's conviction about what he MUST do to walk in step with the Spirit. Hopefully, Agabus and the others prayed accordingly.

Some of what we face in a local church will seem divergent, however if we will seek to 'esteem others better than ourselves', we'll come through as a unified body under the Headship of Christ.

Yesterday, I had the great privilege of leading a 23 year old woman in a Sinner's Prayer. Melody had visited our church for the 4th time this last Sunday.

If you cannot come to the Harvest Festival tonight, will you take a moment to pray for those of us who are there trying to build relationships with new acquaintances? There is a great need to keep 'watching' and 'praying' as we reach out towards the unchurched and unsaved.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I stayed up until midnight listening again to the music and Bob Knapp's Sunday Message (click here).

I have two appointments this morning. One with a visitor to our church and another with a guy who wants to get back on track using his gifts to serve the Lord.

This will be a very, very busy week. We must transform the campus into a festive environment for tomorrow evening's outreach. I wanna get out door-to-door in my neighborhood with fliers again.

We have yet to tie up loose ends with two ministries which are debuting this Sunday:

1) The BellRoad Express (Children's Church)
2) Iglesia Bautista Bell Road

Here is the column I just submitted for next week's Auburn Journal. We're gonna be living with this one all of our lives:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Yesterday's morning service is uploaded (click here). Bob Knapp preached a sermon illustrated by candlelight. I led the worship team and wanted to upload all of it for the day. So, this is the chance to hear the rough cut in its entirety.

The prelude singing starts with us warming up with Matt Klein's song 'Closer', then I transition to one of my favorite by Kalamazoo psalmist, Jeremy Morris (Harden Not Your Heart).

Should you choose to listen, you''ll hear us 'chew our way through' that old hymn I learned from Betty Eichenbaum while we were at Snyder Lane Baptist Church in Rohnert Park (Trust, Try, Prove Me) complete with a whistle-while you meditate verse.

Sunday was my first Sunday in the 4th quarter of my first year at BellRoad. During announcements, I brought up the 4 captains that, early on, I had called upon to choose and develop team members. I rehearsed a couple other important developmental issues that have taken place during the first three quarters.

We sing 'Holy, Holy, Holy' and 'There's Room at the Cross'. When I edit this, I will leave in the songs that are in the Public Domain (and the two written by friends of mine).

The entire service (with pre-service music) is 93 minutes. Bob's message resulted in a number of decisions. In fact, several people have decided to make ours their 'home church'. Of course, that blesses my heart!

Cathy had to leave shortly after 6:00 a.m. so I have been answering emails. It is now 7:00 and I must head over to the church building. The ladies from BSF will soon arrive for their leadership meeting.

Ladies...if you are within driving distance, PLEASE, come try out BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). It is on Tuesdays from 9:10 until 11:00. It is well-organized bible-based program so I try to promote it as a vehicle for personal growth and spiritual development. Quality child care is provided!

It was good to be in the House of the Lord yesterday. The 'normal' uniform rows of chairs were replaced with tables in a festive gathering setting. Ann Arthur and volunteers procured through Women's Ministry (including some guys) set the entire room up for the special after-church event with John and Dee Price (and band).

I led the Worship Team for Sunday morning. I worked in the Sanctuary from 9:00 until midnight--readying the Audio-Visual (and chord sheets).

Rehearsal was from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. It would be good to journal this particular slice-of-life because certain 'leadership' principles surfaced while working with Brandon, Micah, Cathy, Ben, Jonathon, Vicki, Bonita, and Scott (on Sound)... and Joe (on Powerpoint).

A whole new chapter in our ministry-(ies) will begin when Matt and Justine come on board. Matt chatted online with me last night. He asked me how things went yesterday morning.

So, in preparation of them joining 'the Big Picture',  I will journal the ministry event and address theological (and practical) implications of yesterday's leadership issues.
This will be a public report--naming names. I think it will be 'safe' to do so because everyone was 'behaving' well as team-players.

I'll try to write this today and publish it tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Before dark last night we received a call that a sweet couple in our church had discovered that their son had died. On our way to be with them, we acknowledged before the Lord that the circumstances could be reversed. We knew that they would comfort us by simply being with us.

That was how we spent the evening. Sad. However, this grown son knew the Lord, Jesus Christ. We do not grieve as if we had no hope. We talked about and we prayed. This experience is the first crisis we have faced together. My morning prayers were for this precious family.

This morning, I hope to go door-to-door in my neighborhood to invite people to our church gathering on Sunday (and to the Harvest Festival...and/or to Iglesia Bautista Bell Road).

Yesterday, Mary worked on the first draft of a 500 word essay. She was struggling with the process of synthesizing and interpreting three events.

1) The story of watching the Ten Commandments with
     her Dad (who has been a pastor her entire life).

2) Experiencing a walk-through tour of the Wilderness
    Tabernacle that same afternoon.

3) Sharing the Tabernacle experience with a recently-
     married, elderly couple.

For the paper, she was to link to three relevant websites visited as part of her research. She was also to turn in three potential titles for the essay.

What started as a major struggle for her has already become a 790 word rough draft. After she completes this essay (a few more drafts), we will publish the essay right here!

Yesterday, I received the blank patches that we will have embroidered as Sheriff-Deputy patches for the Mayberry Christmas project running in Lodi and Auburn. After much thought and trial, I also stopped at Home Depot to acquire materials for what will become the formed mantels around Andy's desk.

Here is an interesting piece on Mayberry Badges and Myers Lake from someone's visit to Southern California in 1996. (click here)

Friday, October 25, 2007

This morning Wolfgang and I met for prayer from 6:00 to 6:30. We prayed for each other's children, for the workplace, for the precious saints who gather at Bell Road, and for the lost. We also prayed for a missionary couple that we know in common (Ed and Nancy Giddens).

Wolf prayed for the transition that Matt and Justine is making as they close down their household in Huntington Beach and travel North up to road to Auburn, California.
As he was praying about their move, I realized that God will cause others to come from the South, North, East, and West to help us walk step-by-step in obedience to the Vision (as it is unveiled for those who will watch and pray).

Here is a map (click here) to Bell Road Baptist Church
(home to BellRoad Radio, BellRoad University,
 the Military Rose Garden, and, Lord willing, the future home
 of Iglesia Bautista Bell Road, and the BellRoad Express).

This map is interactive and will get you here from anywhere in the United States. An internet friend, Andy Deck, is planning to come here from Oklahoma in December. He is participating in a major race that starts in Folsom (I think). I met Andy through his web-discovery of fbcgalt and our work with Pastor Wesley in Liberia.

That connection resulted in wonderful koinonia through emails. He encouraged my son, Joe, during his 80 day trial in Liberia. Then, a year later, his mission-sending church (Stonegate Fellowship of Midland Texas) sent ten people to help Pastor Wesley open the Medical Clinic.

Today, I have planned to do 'nothing' but read, reflect, and relax before the Lord. A month ago, Clyde McKinley suggested that I 'slow down'. I told him that I just couldn't. However, due to Wednesday's strong admonition from Chet and Jimmie, I slept longer yesterday...and plan to spend today focusing. There is a book I would like to read today. Faye McKinley loaned it to me when I started
40 Days of Pots, Pans, and Prayers.

The book is called 'Approaching God' by Steve Brown. So, that's the plan today.

Tomorrow morning, Elba, Jesse, and I are going door-to-door with fliers for Iglesia Bautista Bell Road (which is scheduled to begin on November 4th). Then, in the evening, I plan to drive to Sacramento to hear Bob Knapp deliver his long-awaited message from Philemon to those who will gather at the Union Gospel Mission. If you would like to be involved in that regional outreach, email me:

     or call me (209) 323-0727

Yesterday, Mary and I went to the Auburn Regal Stadium 10 Theatre to see The Ten Commandments. Then, Jimmie, Chet, Mary, and I went to Grass Valley to go through the Tabernacle exhibit again. I read that the Southern Baptist Convention had bought and placed this model in the desert (click here to see that model).

I would like anyone (and everyone to have a chance) to see the Tabernacle that 7th Day Adventist church in Grass Valley is sponsoring. It would be helpful for those who would like to better understand what they are reading in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Hebrews, and other places where the Tabernacle or Temple worship is mentioned.

The full-size model of the Wilderness Tabernacle
is on Display at the Nevada County Fairgrounds
Today through Tomorrow, Saturday, October 27th
Admission is

1:00 p.m. through 7:00 p.m. Today and Tomorrow
Tours begin every 15 minutes and last 75 minutes

Thursday, October-something, 2007

I'm up at 3:48 to check the time but more importantly to 'catch my breath'. Last night, Jimmie, Chet, and Karla were in the Pots, Pans, & Prayer Class with me.

90 year-old Chet had been watching me interact with Lou, Bertha, Alexis, and Mary at the Supper beforehand. 'Something in the way I...' made them feel the need to compel me to 'slow down' and 'take care of myself'.

I chose not to argue the point. I was talking a mile a minute and probably breathing erratically. I asked, "Is my hair disheveled?" ...and all three nodded. So... I sat down and let Jimmie 'preach' the outline of her four-point sermon:

   Be STILL and know that I am God.
       Be still and KNOW that I am God.
            Be still and know that I am God.
               Be still and know that I am God.

Jimmie was very persuasive as she pounded the table to passionately punctuate her points. hehehe... Chet was smiling too. It is a beautiful memory of the church in action.

No wonder I looked as though I had been runnin' on fumes. I just wrote out some of what I had been doing below...yeah, it looks kinda like a busy time.

I had just finished a quick trip to Galt with Pastor Camarena's DVDs (and devotional CDs) in my hand. I spoke with Pastor Camarena yesterday.

Pastor Camarena is a mover-shaker. He told me that he will help any way he can to help me with the goal of reaching our Spanish-speaking neighbors with the Gospel.

Check out his church's website: click here

I had also quickly copied and printed a customized copy of Ana Bencker's outreach flier (used in Galt) to introduce this same 10-week series (on the Ten Commandments) here in Auburn at Iglesia Bautista Bell Road.

Los 10 Mandamientos
Descubra esto y mucho mas, con nuestro gran Predicador del sur de California Pastor Francisco Camarena (fundador de Iglesia).  y con la Pastor Roberto Patterson
Iglesia Bautista Bell Road
707 Bell Road Auburn, Californa

Los Domingos a las 1:00 de la tarde
Para mas información
por favor llame al telefono

Jesse and Elba Medina (530) --- ----
Carla Hopkins  (916) --- ----

While I had been whipping off that flier, I was simultaneously volleying ideas back and forth with BellRoad Bob (the Engineer on The BellRoad Express).

Both of these new ministries will begin on the first Sunday in November (11-04-06).

We need to get everything ready-to-go before the Harvest Festival (also still being put together) on Wednesday, October 31st. Fliers for launch of both new ministries must be printed by then.  

The Expert Advice column for Monday's Auburn Journal will also serve as a small announcement to the community that 'something new' is happening at BellRoad...

Hopefully, that ad will also serve to remind the Journal readers that Bell Road is hosting the Harvest Festival mentioned on the pages of their paper earlier this month.

CLICK HERE for my last Auburn Journal article
             re-titled Halloween not so tricky
   (originally titled 'True Confessions of a Party-Pooper')

When we were Galt yesterday, Glenn Greene saw us standing at the Taco Truck. He pulled over and told us about the new adventure he and Renee had been undertaking--that of visiting Purpose-Driven churches. I gave him a CD copy of my latest Sunday Message:

 On the (Roman) Road to F.A.I.T.H.

 Later, two young ladies stopped me (as I was digging through a curbside pick-up pile looking for Mayberry Props. Pastor Art Garza's eldest daughter (I remembered her name then...though it slips my mind now) and Nancy (the friend of Tommy Rackley.

An interesting end to a string-of-coincidence considering that I was just listening to this old track that very morning:

?  How do you say, "Rejoice!"

 On the last Sunday before I left for Liberia, I invited Pastor Art Garza (Templo La Hermosa) and Pastor Henry Bermudo (Living Hope Bible Church) to share the pulpit for a special 3-pastor sermon.

  Fanning the flame, I asked both men to interpret short phrases from God's Word. This Click here for a 2-minute mp3 that demonstrates the joy we are experiencing as we hear each other 'declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues.' (Acts 2:11) Together, the three of us preached through Philippians 4:4-7.

Later, in Liberia, I used that very sermon outline as an inspiration for this song:

   Turn Your Worries Into Prayer

That's enough for today's journal entry. It is now 4:46 and I need to get back to sleep. I think I'll take Mary to a matinee of "The Ten Commandments"at the first showing today. I will use this as a field trip for EducationPlus.

Wednesday, October-something, 2007

Yesterday, Les, Bobbi, Cathy, and I went to see the Tabernacle (above). We were well-impressed...more on that later.

Cathy and I are driving to Galt this morning. Gonna do a few things there.

1) Gather some more materials for the introduction of
     Bell Road Iglesia Bautista (on November 4, 2007).
2) Arrange for the mantels around Andy's desk as an
    all-imporant Mayberry Prop
3) Look through my stuff and bring more of it to Auburn
4) hmmm...oh yeah, pick up our 16 year old daughter who went home with her brother Sunday afternoon....
I wrote Matt a note today:

 "Here's what I want you to do. Download and burn this
   chunk of songs to a CD or iPod ..whatever
   and see if you can pick some you like...or brainstorm
   ideas for using them in a live setting... or video...whatever

Here's 30 minutes of music all on one file:
My body of music is has no publisher's or copyright restriction for our use. Now that you are alongside me, I can start to reinvest some of it.
At, there's a song in D called "Trust in the Lord" it was good for that...
Love you...SO HAPPY you and Justine are on-board now.
Wednesday, October-something, 2007

Yesterday, Les, Bobbi, Cathy, and I went to see the Tabernacle (above). We were well-impressed...more on that later.

Cathy and I are driving to Galt this morning. Gonna do a few things there.
1) Gather some more materials for the introduction of
     Bell Road Iglesia Bautista (on November 4, 2007).
2) Arrange for the mantels around Andy's desk as an
    all-imporant Mayberry Prop
3) Look through my stuff and bring more of it to Auburn
4) hmmm...oh yeah, pick up our 16 year old daughter who went home with her brother Sunday afternoon....
I wrote Matt a note today:

 "Here's what I want you to do. Download and burn this
   chunk of songs to a CD or iPod ..whatever
   and see if you can pick some you like...or brainstorm
   ideas for using them in a live setting... or video...whatever

Here's 30 minutes of music all on one file:
My body of music is has no publisher's or copyright restriction for our use. Now that you are alongside me, I can start to reinvest some of it.
At, there's a song in D called "Trust in the Lord" it was good for that...
Love you...SO HAPPY you and Justine are on-board now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So, if you wanna know the neighborhood where our new Associate Pastor (and family) will be planting himself for awhile, click here. Google says it will take him about nine minutes to drive to the studio at BellRoad Radio.

The sermon (or departure from the sermon outline) is now available online:

click here for
On the (Roman) Road to F.A.I.T.H.

The message features Polly, Joe, Cerissa, and Alexis coming to the platform for some unchartered experience.

Live, real-church singing of Matt's song "Closer" opens and closes the message.

If you're a lady...and you're free to travel to BellRoad, we're hosting Bible Study Fellowship every Tuesday morning at 9:10 a.m.

Last night, Cathy, Darlene, Ann, and I met with Patti, Mary, and Mellisa at Applebee's to discuss a Scripture-based weight-loss program called PRISM.

Yeah...met at Applebee's to talk about losing weight! Well, Cathy and I split a meal.

Anyway, we talked for about two hours. Great stuff is gonna come from that particular conversation. To learn more about PRISM, CLICK HERE.

Here's a MUST-SEE in our region:

Currently "The Ten Commandments" (a new animated film) is showing at the Regal Auburn Stadium Theatre. The producer,
Cindy Bond, graduated from Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA. She now lives in Sacramento.

The Ten Commandments
1hr 28min - Rated PG - Animation -
12:50  3:40  6:45  9:40

Read yesterday's story in the Sacramento Bee: click here

Monday, October 22, 2007

Matt Klein was called to serve as the Associate Pastor at Bell Road Baptist Church. Yea and Amen.

Celebrate with me. Listen to one of his songs (while you look at a one-page biography we put together.

Biographical Sketch: Matthew R. Klein (click here)

Here I Am.mp3

I Stand Amazed.mp3  

Lets Talk About It.mp3  


Listen to another song and take a good look at
Alisha Rosenau's webpage: CLICK HERE

It is 6:30 a.m. Cathy just left to work with a Home Instead client at a care home in Grass Valley.

Whew! It would be interesting to see an adrenalin level chart for me over the last few days. After all the weekend visitations, and unspeakable joy of Romans 3:24 in the Sunday morning message, and enjoying a 2 hour business meeting, I had to rush off to keep an appointment which was important to Daniel.

During the hour before going back to the church for BellRoad University, I told Cathy, "I just need to walk this off..." We walked and walked (just as we had on Saturday night).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Debbie Wohler, our NAMB missionary at Lake Tahoe came to encourage us about our victories as we have cooperated together as like-minded believers.

Yesterday was a wonderful afternoon of introducing
Matt and Justine to over 40 interested members of BellRoad. The Worship Team practiced afterwards. They sounded good to my ears.

I'm hoping for a good-sized gathering of the Saints to march forward into our quarterly business meeting. We will consider the daring proposal to call Matt Klein as our full-time Associate Pastor.

I believe that this is God's invitation to stay on track with Him. I also know that I am not 'the church'. I hope that enough eyes, ears, and vocal chords will be affirming the Yea and Amen about which my spirit has prayed and openly testified.

Hey, here is
Alisha Rosenau's webpage: CLICK HERE

Friday, October 19, 2007

I suppose that the mailbags at 707 Bell Road will be piling up today because I didn't write an entry yesterday.

Sorry, folks, I was just plain too busy!

Among other needs, I helped Emma with a graphic for the church bulletin. She asked my honest opinion about our advertisement for the Harvest Dinner. I said, "Well, give me a couple minutes and I'll come up with something." Here's what I sent her:

While they aren't exactly 'look-alikes', John and Dee Price (members at Calvary Chapel of Auburn) will share their love of music by Johnny and Patsy as our after meal entertainment next Sunday. John and Dee will perform with their band for our Harvest Dinner (after morning services on October 28th). They have two tribute band acts:

Back in Black (Johnny Cash)
Rose of San Antone (Patsy Cline)

Johnny brought by a CD of recently-completed tracks for their upcoming release. I'll try to share something on Sunday morning as a taste of things to come.

Matt and Justine Klein have arrived and are here for the weekend. Read the entry below for a photo and an opportunity to hear four songs by them. On Sunday is an important vote among our church members which will decide whether or not they will come to serve alongside me.

Matt spontaneously created a Radio Show INTRO for me while we were chatting one night a few weeks back. His style here is much more mainstream than my own "Welcome to the Last Days...." cornball-sctick.

Give it a listen and tell me what you think: 

CLICK HERE for Matt's Intro to Full Message-New Life

If you would like to get to know Matt and Justine better, please plan on coming by the church campus tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. There will be a Q and A for anything and everything for all-things-Klein.

I need to run over to the DMV today. I was there standing in line for the second time in recent days trying to help my son, Jeremiah, get his latest car registered. Faced with what seems to be ever-increasing rigmarole, I was not exactly abounding with the fruit of the Spirit in the area of Patience.

I wasn't raising my voice but I felt the need to share my frustration. Jeremiah was tapping me on the shoulder saying, "Come on, Dad, its not that big of a deal. Let's go..."

Well, anyway, I told Jerry later that I've been tapped on the shoulder by the Spirit. I need to go back and just acknowledge to the countergirl that I realize she really couldn't do anything about it.

The last thing I wanna be known as is a grouch!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Have you seen plans for the Digital World Library yet?

(click here)

I was on the phone with Matt Klein a few times yesterday. I also had an important conversation with his precious wife, Justine. I love this young couple and look forward to having them come to visit us again this weekend. We will be sharing them with our church body on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and they will be leading us in Worship this Sunday morning.

Matt writes, sings, and plays piano in the style of one of my own missional mentors: Keith Green. He is pictured here holding his son, Jonah (6). That's the one who, quite seriously, informed me,

   "My Dad plays piano better than you..." (I love that kid...)

     and Justine is holding Evan (3).

Below, there is a link to Rodney Edward's LifeMessage. Whether or not he was ever influenced by Keith Green, Rodney's plan to 'give it away for free' certainly vibrates in sympathetic resonation.

Likewise, knowing that Matt and I shared an affinity to the prophetic, musical gifting of Keith Green was a significant factor in my very first phone conversation with him (July 27).

Read about Keith Green (click here).

Listen to Matt and Justine:

Here I Am.mp3  Written in 2005, this song came at a difficult point in Matt's life.

I Stand Amazed.mp3  Written seven years ago, while Matt was a worship leader in Huntington Beach, California. He was preparing music for the worship practice and was getting tired of doing the same songs. He asked the Lord for a new song and this came... 

Lets Talk About It.mp3  Matt wrote this as a message to Christians in general.  The song is about getting the word out that Jesus is Alive.

Closer.mp3 Justine and Matt recorded the vocals at 3:00 a.m. This song is fresh out of the oven during the last month. I've used it for altar music a couple times. I want Matt to play it this Sunday too. Yeah, there's a Keith Green vocal-moment in this. Its cool.

Our son, Joe, was offered a position at a bank yesterday. Knowing this young man's strengths we are hoping that an entry-level position at a local bank will serve his goals well (as he pursues the completion of his Bachelor's Degree).

Our own
Deacon Wolfgang has been letting Joe work at Rosenau Motors while he has been job-hunting. Now, that has been a 'real ministry' to Joe. Getting up for work every day has been good for his soul as he faces so many other aspects of an unknown future.

I googled Wolfgang's business and found this hyperlink which contained a couple very positive 'reviews' of the good deacon's business. Check these out:

  "Rosenau Motors is the most knowledgeable electric
        motor specialist in town, period."

  "This is the place to go to get your electric motor fixed."

Relative to the gift of gainful employment that has been extended to Joe by this godly businessman, is a letter that came in from Rodney Edwards of Service to Servants. Rodney is another one of us that God tapped on the shoulder and said (something to the effect of),

 "Hey, I am about to do something new in the nation
           of Liberia...and you're invited to join me".

Rodney, a businessman who has been working hard on his goal to start small businesses in Liberia, was thinking about exceeding the expectations of customers. He questioned 'who is our customer?'. Below is a bit of his published thought:

  "God called us to this work, He provides for us as we
    faithfully carry out the work that is given.  We answer
    solely to Him. 

    Our relationships with all the others that we are
    privileged to be involved with - contributors, recipients,
    partners, vendors and others, are the result of an
    overflow of love and gratitude to our one Customer. 

   So perhaps (grant me a little levity here) we could
   reinterpret Deuteronomy 6:4 to say,

      "Hear, O Service To Servants:
        The Lord our God, the Lord is our one Customer."

   So how are we doing in serving our Customer?

After looking over their newsletter and a fresh look at their website (click here) , I wrote to Rodney and shared these thoughts:


Wow! God is <blessing, blessing, blessing> your effort. I'm sorry that I haven't written much I've been so busy trying to plant seeds here at Bell Road Baptist Church.

Your garden's growth gives me hope about the one I'm trying to work here in Auburn, California.
I will definitely 'tune in' your webpage for the journal during your 2 week trip to Liberia (November 3-17). I will feature a link everyday in my journal.

Then, he wrote back to me within minutes:


Great to hear from you.  I am learning that focus is extremely important.  It’s hard to keep the work in Liberia from running away from us in too many directions, then add the daily workload here plus our local church and staying focused is mandatory.

I know that your work in growing your new church must be consuming you and Cathy.  There’s no time when you couldn’t be doing “something”.

I spoke with Pastor Wesley last week and we’re still looking for ways to partner with him.



In looking over Rodney's website I lifted this quote from one of the pages. This thought will serve well all who are in the 'business' of serving others:

    "Use your ministry to build people,
            not people to build your ministry." 
                           --Jacquelyn K. Heasley

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It is a rainy day in Auburn. Our roof is experiencing some difficulties. Deacon Mike asked me to be on hand when the roofers arrive so I've been up there.

Cathy worked an overnight so I made supper for Joe and me. He chatted (with a headset) for a few hours with his wife. Sharon is in the Philippines--she was at an Internet Cafe' working on a paper for her MBA.

I watched a DVD of an old, old film version of David and Goliath (with Orson Welles playing the part of King Saul).

Quiet morning here at the office. The BSF ladies are running around but the rainy day seems to quiet them down as well.

Matt and Justine Klein are driving up here on Thursday and will be here for the weekend. They are being hosted for a Q and A reception on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. to which everyone in is invited. At our quarterly business meeting, the church will decide whether to call Matt as our Associate Pastor with primary responsibilities in Music, Media, and Youth. I hope that this is God's Will for our church and that the church accordingly. Alas, though, there is always 'mystery' involved in knowing and doing the will of God.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Click here for yesterday's sermon:

"On the (Roman) Road Again"

I edited the message "On the (Roman) Road Again" from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

At 8:00 a.m. and I went to the church to wait for the BSF Leadership Team to arrive at the BellRoad Campus. They always plan their Tuesday Bible Study the day before. I should try to get on the phone and encourage some stay-at-home BellRoaders to show up tomorrow and get involved with these ladies.

At 5:00 p.m., I'm gonna hang out with an unnamed guy with whom I haven't hung out much...then, there's a Leadership Council meeting at 6:30.

Vicki Novak called to check in today. She's still planning to be one of the Darling Boys at the Mayberry Christmas show on December 23rd. Her brothers who are good bluegrass pickers are also scheduled to join her. I'm excited about that.

Yesterday, after morning church, Cerissa, Daniel, Mary, Joe, and Cathy all boarded my car and we had lunch at the Sizzler. There were two clusters of BellRoad folks already assembled there.

After lunch, we drove out to the Biblical Gardens. This was a good way to add to Cerissa's understanding of the Biblical Narrative as we stopped and talked about various episodes in the Story of Christ. When we came upon the bridge by the waterfall, we noticed a man sitting on the bench with his Bible. Unfortunately we had interrupted his solitude (but we remained quiet). As we went further ahead on our path, we shared an important time of prayer. At the Garden of Gesthemane scene, our soft-spoken, corporate included the man we had seen seeking God.

Last night, after our doctrinal study (the Baptist Faith and Message), I invited Casey and Polly to take a walking tour of Downtown and Old Town Auburn. Joe, who had attended the Truth Project class, came along with us. We invested 2.5 hours altogether--becoming better friends. A pleasant stop along the way was at the Downtown Pizza Shop (where seven young people live upstairs).

Travis waited upon us. I first met Travis when the summer missionaries (Gregg and Emily) were here with us. I asked Travis to tell us about his experience jumping trains. Polly affirmed my girls' opinion that 'the pizza is quite greasy...' However, Casey and Joe affirmed my opinion that it is quite tasty as well.

Our long, enjoyable evening walk concluded with prayer for direction, wisdom, and protection.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Today, Mary and David are getting married. There's a rehearsal at 11:00 and the wedding's tonight.

Tomorrow, it looks like I'll be leading the music, so there's much to be done today.

Feeling 'under the weather' yesterday so I tried to get some rest and worked from home (mostly on the phone). Thank you, Bob Knapp, for helping me connect with a brother at the hospital.

Daniel came up last night. He has agreed to help with editing certain scenes from the Mayberry project so I'm asking Joe and Daniel to storyboard a couple scenes today.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yesterday afternoon I went to Sutter Faith Hospital to see two of our seniors. Both men were doing well considering that they were stuck in hospital beds!

I also rehearsed with Roy and Joy Jones. Roy is playing the part of Andy in 'Christmas in Mayberry'; Joy will fulfill the role of Aunt Bee. We had a good time working through certain portions of the script. I got to read for Opie, Gomer, and...yes, even tried my Barnie Fife. This is gonna be a fun Christmas-time project!

At 6:00 p.m. last night, I met at the Downtown clock tower with seniors from Auburn Presbyterian and youth members from Colfax A/G. I was responding to the heartfelt invitation of Bill Michel to participate in a candlelight vigil to petition the Lord for peace in Burma.

Bill had previously read about my son, Joe, while he was in Thailand working with the Karen children in a refugee camp. The Karen people are an ethnic minority in Burma (Myanmar) that has been brutally terrorized during this generation's longest running civil war.

Bill's deceased wife, Esther, was a Karen. Last night's vigil was also held in her memory.  I set apart some time to do some research to become better prepared to offer a closing prayer at the event. Bev Anderson from Auburn Presbyterian helped organize the event. Bev writes:

"The Karen people group in Burma are chiefly Christian. These people and other small people groups have been attacked by government troops for some years.  Villages have been turned, people massacred.  There are over a million people internally displaced in Burma.  Many hide in the jungles running for their lives until they can get over the border to Thailand where there are thousands in refugee camps.  What is happening in the cities that the news has been reporting is the tip of the volcano that is set to erupt at some point in this long running civil war.  We have been in contact with groups in Thailand that are helping the people in Burma trying to keep alive in the jungles after their villages were destroyed.   These are "equal opportunity massacres" of Christian, Buddhist, and other minority religion people." 

I told Bill that I wasn't sure how to be involved in an 'inter-faith' assembly. A Buddhist monk (the Venerable Lob Sang Tsultrim) would be on the program as well as local artist, Stan Padilla. I try to remember Paul's appearance at the Aereopogas in order to prepare for moments like these. God gave me what to I prayed.

Grace Michel (Bill and Esther's daughter) spoke with passionate eloquence about the tragedy faced by these displaced people. She is in sister in Christ who seems to be anointed for this service. God has opened a door for her to work with a group who will produce public service announcements with thirty celebrities.

Grace spoke to the youth from Colfax after the event and humbly shared that she doesn't really have any experience with video production (and all that). She is simply walking through doors opened before her. With a big smile, Grace told me that she used to attended the Youth Group at BellRoad when she was younger. Her father told me that she attended the College and Career group as well.

I'm again reminded of the important roles teachers and youth facilitators fulfill for young people at critical stages in their developing lives. Grace is a Christian leader that I will be watching and for whom I will pray. I would guess that the psa videos will probably be like this one that Jim Carrey has released on YouTube about the situation in Burma. He is trying to inform people about the lengthy imprisonment of Nobel Prize recipient,
Aung San Suu Kyi

   (click here for Jim Carrey's video)

I was surprised to see Heidi Peterson at the ClockTower.
I have mentioned this young convert in a couple recent sermons. It was 'just a coincidence' that Heidi was at the clocktower as were gathering for the vigil. Another coincidence: Grace and Heidi recognized each other! They had worked together at In and Out Burgers.

Heidi asked to use my cellphone and called her newlywed husband, Paul, to tell him to come join us. So, this newly-baptized couple stood in the circle and heard Grace speak. In fact, Paul came to the microphone and testified toward the end.

Several months ago, one of our seniors told me about a lady in Phoenix who had read about the picketing of our church on Easter Sunday. Ann had been a member here years ago and was online looking for news from 'home'.

Yesterday another senior wrote to tell me that Ann had been online again reading about the stuff that is going on here. Perhaps she was even reading this column because she mentioned the Rose Garden article in the Sacramento Bee.

Remember this thought from the 23rd Psalm?

   "Surely goodness and mercy
       shall follow me all the days of my life..."

I sometimes think about what happens in the lives of people after we leave them.

Another memory from the days of comic strips:

Lucy asks her little brother Linus,

"How come you only shined the front of your shoes?!"

Linus replies,

"I want to make a good impression on people when I meet them; I don't care what they think after I leave."

This particular sister, Ann, has left behind a trail of goodness and mercy among the lives of BellRoad seniors.

I wrote Ann a long letter this morning--asking her to partner with us in prayer over all the work ahead of us.

I told Ann to feel free to connect with me.

My 'door' is open... cell phone is on (209) 323-0727;
...and I check my INBOX frequently; just KNOW that the 'new' pastor is here for you, OK?

The same goes for any of you out there...

A fact about God's economy: There is much gained by those who will simply trust that God's Ways are higher than our ways ( ...and obey).

  "For there's no other way...
       to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey".

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I bit the bullet and am now paying for wireless, high-speed from our Miner's Station apartment. Mary schooling with EducationPlus relies heavily on internet connectivity, Joe likes to 'chat' with his wife thousands of miles away in the Philippines, Cathy gets online jobs with Home Instead and I have really missed the privilege of publishing 3:00 a.m. bedside webpage entries.

This morning I met with John and Dee Price at our campus. They have two tribute band acts:

Back in Black (Johnny Cash)
Rose of San Antone (Patsy Cline)

They will be performing with their band for our Harvest Dinner (after morning services on October 28th).

John has a full, resonant timbre in his speaking voice. I can't wait to hear their demo tracks for the upcoming CD they are currently recording. They're supposed to bring me a copy tomorrow.

Here's a question that will be of interest to some of you:

Hi Pastor Rob,

I was curious if there is a group of people from Bell Road Baptist that are going to the Weekend to Remember marriage retreat? There is a fairly significant group discount. Do you know of any groups that are going that we could join?
Thanks!      --Polly

Dear Polly,

Yes, there are others who want to go to the
     Weekend to Remember Marriage Retreat.

Scott and April Cameron are organizing a group. I will ask her to contact you. Anybody else interested?

Feel free to write to April:


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I had a couple questions come to me recently. This first one was used as a submission for Expert Advice that will appear in next week's Auburn Journal.

Another question came in last night regarding the ongoing relationship we have had with Pastor Richard Wesley and one of the ministries he oversees in Liberia. I love the quick connection allowed by email:

    My husband and I were wondering how many children
    have been adopted from Greater Love Children's
    Thank you very much!          Kamina & Jeremy

Dear Jeremy and Kamina,

I am not certain about the number of children adopted through Greater Love Children's Home but I'm sure Pastor Wesley will get back with you during the next couple days.
I may not be correct but I think that Greater Love has only adopted through Addy's Hope. I have cc'd Holly Ann, the Director of Addy's Hope.

Pastor Rob

Hello everyone~

To answer that question, we have had 12 children actually come home to the US.  We have 4 children who are waiting for families (two of them, 6 year old twins, are on our website), 29 children and 17 families in process right now.  We are busy!  :)
Let me know if you have questions!

Until they all come home,

HollyAnn Petree
Addy's Hope

My association with Pastor Wesley began on December 12, 2002. I thank the Lord that some little children were saved from starvation, neglect, and abuse because a few Christians allowed the Lord to direct their steps.

Onward toward the Christmas in Mayberry: Cathy and I pieced together a phone for Andy's Desk and located a jug for Briscoe Darling, and got a blond wig for the Fun Girls from Mount Pilot. If anyone would like to get involved, please call me:  209. 323-0727

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I received an email from Alisha at Rancho Sordo Mudo in Mexico. She told me that, after an interruption in their internet service, she had been able to listen to "Going Deeper" from last week's church service.

I hope that she has a chance to also listen to
New Testament Problem-Solving (because there is some 'local stuff' that may help her feel reconnected with her church home).

Late yesterday afternoon, Cathy and I went prop-hunting for 'Christmas in Mayberry'. Paul at the Whistlestop (in Auburn) was a great help and offered to loan us anything he has that will help.

I told him that we would make up a prop sheet for items that we'll need. If anybody out there has any Mayberry stuff that we might be able to borrow, please contact me ASAP.    (click here)

Joe and I visited one of our precious church members at Sutter Faith Hospital last night. An attendant was listening to our conversation and showed quite an interest in upcoming outreach activities.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm at the office. I came in before 9:00 a.m. and edited yesterday morning's message until 1:30 p.m. The ladies from BSF were here--organizing for tomorrow's Bible Study.

I spoke on the phone with Matt Klein (the fellow that I hope will become our Associate Pastor). He said he stayed up until 7:30 a.m. working on a computer program. He had a breakthrough at 7:00 a.m.

Yeah, he was sounding a bit sleepy when he answered his phone at 8:30. I told him about our Town Hall Meeting yesterday after church. I asserted the importance of revisiting and further addressing every issue brought forth. Otherwise, what is the point of asking people to share their ideas?

I also shared a bit about yesterday's sermon:

New Testament Problem-Solving

Two themes which are definitely shocking to my own personal pattern 'business-as-usual' are:

1. Thank God for PROBLEMS

2. Thank God for COMPLAINTS

Definitely not my normal pattern of thanksgiving, this particular message has the power to change my life as a leader.

Here is the link to the newly-edited message: click here
I included Matt and Justine's newest song (Closer) at the conclusion of the message.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Still no wireless at the apartment so I had to wait until coming into the office to get online. Last night, Joe, Cathy, and I went to a mentors' supper at Lorenzo's. Cathy and I sat within talking distance of Briscoe, Andy, Aunt Bee, Granny, and Gomer.

Today, Mary drove down to Galt to babysit for a family we love and Joe went 4-wheeling with Ben.

I'm working on my message for tomorrow:

      'New Testament Problem-Solving'

Fresh on my mind and heart is a review of Melody Green's video on the life of Keith Green. Mary sat and watched some of it with me and was surprised to learn that Randy Stonehill had played such a big part in the story.

Since she has shown an interest in this story, I think that I will assign Melody's book as reading for EducationPlus.

Delynn and I spoke at great length today about the mission field and we prayed for our kids. We also discussed the upcoming mission trip to Mexico (day after Christmas).

Friday, October 5, 2007

Our three deacons and I met for 6:30 morning prayer at the Park & Ride. Then, I sat with Deacon Mike in our parking lot until 7:30 (more communication--so necessary as we bond together for the work of the Lord).

I just got online (8:00) to check email and to see if the Auburn Journal printed my story. Yeah, they did but they changed the title. I don't think it is as strong as the one I submitted but...

As for censorship (or editorial tweaking), I was also interested to see that one parenthetic bit had also been omitted. It was a reference to those who might leave comments at the Journal's website. They also chose to use their own on-file photo (instead of the ones I had attached to my story).

I did appreciate that key stylistic literary devices were left (all in all), it's OK with me.

CLICK HERE for today's Auburn Journal article
             re-titled Halloween not so tricky

Hey, if you should decide to leave a comment, make sure to fill in the image verification box...and note that your comment will not appear immediately. They check and post comments periodically (usually during business hours).

If you would like to read the original submission,
'True Confessions of a Party-Pooper', then come to church on Sunday and pick up a hardcopy of our monthly newsletter (Emma used it for my column).

Elvis Presley's brother, Rick Stanley, is supposed to be getting back with me about when he is coming to Auburn. I suspect that he'll call today or tomorrow. Click here to learn more about Rick's story:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I stayed at the church last night and wrote a 499 word essay on Halloween entitled 'True Confessions of a Party-Pooper' for tomorrow's Auburn Journal. Do you think that title might attract an unchurched person to read something on the Religion Page for the first time? We'll see.

I'll share a link to the paper tomorrow.

While searching through my files for a photo to submit, I came across a brief video that I never published. It reminds me of a power-packed time-encapsulated truth.

 click here for the clip.

Jimmie (and Chet) called me this morning to ask if I had any specific prayer request for the day. I shared my heart for these intercessors and was told to 'Let Go and Let God'...that's is the line I was thinking along right before I received the phone call.

I had hung up from a fruitful conversation  with a pastor in Las Vegas when Jebby called. We discussed the state of preparation for 'A Mayberry Christmas' which is being presented by our two churches (in both Lodi and Auburn). Jebby is playing the part of Andy. He and I have both produced audio-helps for CD. We will continue to share resources.

Much more to do today so... g2g.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I have worked at editing the first edition of last Sunday called Going Deeper. You can hear it on BellRoad Radio (click here). You might want to download it to burn to CD or for your iPod because it is 48 minutes long (including the new song by Matt and Justine Klein used for the altar).

Matt and Justine also sang along with a short clip from the sermon that I had sent them during post-production. I slipped it back in just before uploading the message in its entirety. (Listen for the Kleins singing backup at about 43:30).

A couple weeks ago, our church hosted the 7th Annual Bike Run to raise funds for Rancho Sordo Mudo (a deaf school in Mexico).

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

I asked Glenn if I could use his camera to take a couple shots. One of these photos will be used to accompany the sign that was recently presented to us:

Bikers Always Welcome

Here is the column for next Monday's Auburn Journal.

This question caused me to rehearse some of the steps I had taken in my own study of Halloween. Click here for an interesting webpage which includes many aspects of its observance.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I suppose that all around the world people are wondering why hasn't pastorob published his journal entry yet. Hey, its Tuesday and that's a busy day for ol' pastor.

I'm the token male soundman for BSF. Also, its deadline day for Expert Advice. It has to be submitted before noon. Then, at noon, the foothill pastors are coming to the BellRoad Campus for our monthly prayer meeting.

Somehow, I've gotta find time to edit Sunday's Message: "Going Deeper.

Tomorrow is the deadline for the Auburn Journal's pastor's page (remember last time...I promoted a simple Easter Sunrise Service and Mr. Otterstad showed up).

I brought Joe's car (a '95 Saturn) to Auburn last night. He worked for Wolfgang yesterday and today. It is good for him to have his car again, I'm sure. His brother, Jeremiah had been using it while Joe was in Asia.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Today has arrived. Mary takes her final 'driving test' this morning in Lodi at 8:00 a.m.

So, that's where we are heading. Cathy will sub in Galt today to pay for the trip.

Yesterday's message will be uploaded tonight, Lord willing.

Great day yesterday.

To catch up with stuff from the last few years...

   Journal Archives

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm at the church to check email at 6:45. Cathy and I are finalizing training requirements at Sutter Faith Hospice to serve as rotating chaplains there. It is primarily to be on-call for the hospital to minister among families facing the immediate death of a loved one.

After that is Joy Fellowship, our Seniors' Ministry, at the church for lunch and a one-man band.

At 2:00, Bob Knapp and TeamKID Outreach will start setting up a jumphouse and cotton candy machine at the regional Park near our apartment complex.

Busy. I'm praying through this season of busy-ness that we will reap a harvest of souls by planning good seed in good soil.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Still doing without Internet at our apartment so my entries may be later than normal.

I just met with Patrice to talk over production needs for 'Christmas in Mayberry'. Her brother, Ben, listened in so I think he will become a valuable asset to the entire project.

Prayer with like-minded believers is vital to my ability to stay in step with the Spirit. On Monday night, the BellRoad Deaconate met with me for two hours. We agreed that Friday mornings we will meet for prayer together.

Yesterday, I met again with a number of area pastors as part of a Tuesday morning prayer meeting. These are some great guys and I am happy to share mutual burdens with them.

Tonight, at 6:00 p.m. I have the privilege of sharing prayer-time with those who have enlisted in 40 Days of Pots, Pans, and Prayer. Please pray for me--that I'll stay on track with the Lord's Best for those among whom I have responsibilities.

It is a pleasure for me to have our oldest son, Joe, here in Auburn. Yesterday, he and I had a twilight special dinner at the Ridge Golf Course. It is a beautiful development down the street from our church. Although neither of us have ever played golf, we enjoyed walking the grounds, talking and praying.

Later in the evening, he played tennis with Ben, Jon, and Clyde. Joe has agreed to serve as an intern at BellRoad Radio until he finds gainful employment in the banking industry.  This will be a big help to me as I try to expand the influence of our church program. (click on photo to enlarge)

Mary is taking a C-Best pre-exam as part of her regimen at EducationPlus. Since Joe is an experienced Tutor so he will also be able to help Mary in any area that needs strengthening.

The C-Best test is required by California Public Schools in order to be a substitute teacher. Cathy and I both passed that test and with our Bachelors Degrees, we are credentialed as substitute teachers (K-12) in California. Mary has already passed her Exit Exam for California public schools but I want to make the most of these final years with her in our household.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm up in the Soundbooth at 10:58 taping the teaching for Bible Study Fellowship. They will play this tape for those who work in the nursery.

I also just submitted this Expert Advice column for next Monday's Auburn Journal. Thanks Madelyn for submitting a 'real' question. Click below for Sunday's sermon. It shares more about 'real questions' that 'expert advice' has generated.

   CLICK HERE  for  "Looking for Ties...that Bind"

Monday, September 24, 2007

We were at the BellRoad Campus until 8:00 p.m. hanging with a couple who travel all the way from Elk Grove to attend our class on the  Baptist Faith and Message.

Sadly, the 'free' (unsecured) wireless connection I've been enjoying at Miner's Station has come to an end. I'm still paying for high-speed for the boys in Galt...and don't think I can really afford it in both places.  So, I'll head down to the Campus and upload this entry today.

Our first read-through of Christmas in Mayberry was eye-opening. I must commend playwright, Jebby Moates, for his attention to detail. His script operates on several levels and the ending neatly ties together several sub-plots. I look forward to working with Patrice Rosenau and a top-notch team of co-laborers to pull off this God-sized Assignment.

To make it easy for those who show up here looking for the 'helps' I've assembled, here they are:

1.  Pastorob's Mayberry Slideshow (click here) to help us all brainstorm about this community outreach. The famous "Preamble Scene" is embedded on the same page.

Seventeen online episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.  I embedded these links onto one page to make it easier for the cast(s) and crew(s) in Lodi and in Auburn to navigate.

    (click here for the 17 Episodes)

It is now 4:51 a.m. and I'm ready to drive to the Campus to see if the computer will let me retrieve a digital copy of yesterday's sermon.

The Leadership Team from Bible Study Fellowship will be arriving bright and early at the Campus to plan for tomorrow morning's outreach. I'll probably stick around to let them in.

I have a deacon's meeting tonight. Besides that the day is open to edit Sunday's Message for our broadcast.


Last Sunday's Sermon: click here

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I was working on this entry yesterday afternoon. This sermon has been preached and, Lord willing, should be online tomorrow sometime.

Here was my rough outline:

Today's Message:
  "Looking for Ties . . .that Bind"

Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.      Luke 4:38-39

Ties that Bind us Together

1) PRAYER: "and they
     asked Jesus to help her."

     "He bent over her
         and rebuked the fever"

    "She got up at once
      and began to wait on them."



"When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ."
 "At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place."



"they tried to keep him from leaving them." (:42b)

The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.

OUR MISSION: "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."   (4:43-44)

But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

How to tie a tie:  (click here)

to bind (for Jonathon): a definition    Tefillin (click here)

Bind this Word on your foreheads...around your neck, on your chest ...

Acts 5:

We left off last time with a speech given by Gamaliel to the Sanhedrin:

  "Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

Gamaliel's speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

 41-42  The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Romans 2:28-29  A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

Blessed Be the Tie that Binds: a podcast story

Day 18: 40 Days of Pots, Pans, and Prayer
                'Ministering to Martha'

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Yesterday, I helped Joe tweak his resume' and he took copies to nearly every bank branch in Auburn. He has also applied online to most of them. Cathy left early yesterday morning to work a 24 hour shift for Home Instead. She is then going to do three hours at another site before coming home.

Daniel is wrestling in a Sacramento Tournament all day today. We are going to try to get there to see him wrestle at least one of his matches.

Last night, Joe and I let several late episodes of the Andy Griffith Show play while I worked on drawing prop plans for Christmas in Mayberry and Joe applied for Bank positions online.

Early this morning, I made a new slideshow (click here) to help us all brainstorm about this community outreach. The famous "Preamble Scene" is embedded on the same page.

Vicki Novak
is gonna be one of the Darling Boys (with an upright Bass, Lord Willing) and get her real, live brothers here for the December 23rd performance.

For those of you who haven't seen an episode of the Andy Griffith Show in awhile, I found a website called liketelevision that has 17 shows online. I embedded their links in this page to make it easier to navigate for the cast(s) and crew(s) in Lodi and in Auburn (click here for Mayberry Episodes).

...and now its time for me to get back to my sermon-prep for tomorrow's message:

"Looking for Ties ...that Bind"
Luke 4:38-44     Acts 5:38-42     Romans 2:28-29


Journal Archives and other stuff

a recent experiment with converter to FLASH     

 Expert Advice

 Caitlyn submitted this video of BellRoad-Centrifuge2007



A Daily VisionCast

"Your young men will see visions
...and your old men will dream dreams."

Welcome to A.D. 2007

Another day of Holy Coincidence
is about to begin... 

      Click here for BellRoadRadio

     Journal Archives and other stuff


Have you ever heard or seen this
particular name: Perry Marshall?

                             ...he poked me.

Click below for Oswald Chambers'
My Utmost for His Highest




Hungry for the Word of God?
(type in a keyword or passage)

'A proverb a day keeps the folly away'

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31
CLICK ABOVE for a closer look,
        Click Again
to release

Years ago, I experienced a season of praying this prayer daily. I was taught that I could personalize each phrase and make direct application to the situations that we were facing that very day.

Awhile ago, I uploaded this video on YouTube, Google, & myspacevideo. It explored the influence of John Lennon's life and thought upon my own. On YouTube, this 'fair use' version (Unconditional Love) continues to get negative comments.

 Oh well.... 

foul language is used by certain individuals
who have commented, so don't go there if that bothers you too much. 

  the Xian alternative
       (click here

click here: YouTube's Unconditional Love

 Whose Working Class Hero
    Was He?  
2:00 minutes
click for music video

As a child I began to study the writings of
John Lennon
. S
ince my Dad ran a jukebox route, I heard most of his songs when they first arrived on the streams of American pop culture.

The primal voice crying out in my generation tried to point us to Love and Peace. Both attributes sought by the dreamer point this listener to Jesus.

Unconditional Love (a fair use)
Love, Love, Love . . .
There's nothing we can do to earn salvation,
Nothing we can give to pay the price,
No one else to call,
We're just gonna call upon the Name of Jesus.

There's nothing we can do that can't be done,
There's nothing really new under the sun,
Surpassing Understanding,
Give the Prince of Peace a Chance to free us,

(All we are saying is . . .)

Everyone needs God, We all need His Love,
All we need is God's Love, Unconditional Love.

Love, Love, Love . . .

For God so loved the world He gave His Son,
There's nothing we can add to what's been done,
Nowhere Man can go to find
       the Way, the Truth, the Life but Jesus 

(Nowhere Man, please listen . . .)

Everyone needs God, We all need His Love,
All we need is God's Love,    
Unconditional Love,
Unconditional Love,
                     Love is all we need.

* Thanks to Greg Brayton, Jamie Bailey,
      Jerry Patterson, and Cathy for investing
      the talents entrusted to them.

click here for more of that session

Giants in the Land




I sought permission to reprint the article which mentions our local church and how we came to be involved in Liberia. 

Formerly, there was a link to the entire article, the online version is now in their archives.

Here is a pdf of the original hardcopy.

click here for 'Giants in the Land'

a Slideshow

click on photo
C is the key we settled on at fbc
How Great: again
Our new friend in Australia. On his way to the Epicenter?

"Sometimes less is more . . .
 and sometimes its just

Pastor Rob Patterson
   the unauthorized biography
                        abridged by J. D. Van Hall 

Experiencing God in Liberia for 80 Days

               Letters from Joe: CLICK HERE

                     THE INBOX: CLICK HERE

a trip down memory lane
y2k5 January - December
click here for hyperlinks


  Visit me at

 I store some
 videos, photos,
 and other stuff

             since 11/04

  Click on photo to visit myspace

journal entries

hyperlink: a 40-Day Doctoral Project




2/28/2006 8:00 AM

I've posted some of your Theological and Theoretical Rationale for prospecting during a 40 Day team effort.

      Now what?

classic rock

on myspace
3/1/2006 1:00 AM

We'll see if
   anything happens 
   with this fishing line.

 4 songs with lyrics and downloadable on

  Journal Archives and other stuff

My Old Testament professor,
    Dr. Samuel Tang once said,
"One can benefit from the research of others without accepting their conclusions."

Walking the Bible
a PBS documentary CLICK HERE

    a fun look in the archives:

January-December 2005
Greatest Hits: Click here

Rick Warren's little church has
adopted Rwanda.
Would you take time to look at what they're doing,
then help
us with our assignment to reach out to Liberia?
   Saddleback's_P.E.A.C.E. Plan

During my RockSoapOpera days of holy frustration, I read a tract called:

Keith Green's Final Message:   

"Why YOU should go to
          the Mission Field"

In the article, Keith stated that 96% of all Christian finances were spent in the United States on 6% of the world's population.

That statistic stuck with me.
Was that accurate then?

If so, I wonder what has changed in the 20plus years since I first read that article.

Click here to read it for yourself.

related article: Keith Green Biography

  One of the most dramatic moments of my Sabbatical was when I received news about Michael (see April 29th journal entry). Many years ago God used me to advocate for his life while he was yet in his mother's womb.

CLICK HERE to read a magazine article written by the young man four years ago
(at the age of 17

Click here
for an early story in the Galt Herald

Click here 'Pastor Wesley meets pastorob'
by Ross Farrow Lodi News-

Click here for Pastors' Vision Trip

Click here for Combined Articles: ten local churches addressing HIV/AIDS in Lesotho, Africa

We have had visitors from 82 nations:

Are you the first from your nation?
                   CLICK HERE to find out

for pastorob's picks  from
 the Video Archives:

Just another experiment

And another experiment


and then there's this...

I'm more than that...
I know (I AM)
At least, I think i must be . . .

There you go, man,
Keep as cool as you can.
Face piles of trials with smiles . . .
It riles them to believe
that you perceive

       the web

My shortcut
to free family research page:

Note: SCROLL DOWN halfway to the box for

That box is FREE. There are other places on the page designed to get you to sign up for paid subscriptions. I haven't paid anything yet for anything I have learned.

Check out this slideshow with audio clips: an outflow from a Sunday night's message:

Give P.E.A.C.E. a Chance... in Liberia



I found at 1and1
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If you need help starting  
     your own website through 1and1
         just write me a note:

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